The 2019 Manufacturing Indaba will host several trade and industry Ministers from Africa, with the focus leaning towards facilitating trade between African countries.
The conference – with the theme, Untapped potential growth and development of manufacturing and industrialisation to unlock Africa’s potential – will include an itinerary of engaging sessions involving a myriad of topics, such as the mining and gas interfaces, the future of African manufacturing and the latest trends that impact on manufacturing, says Manufacturing Indaba MD Liz Hart.
“The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area in 2018 as a single market for goods and services in Africa aims to encourage manufacturing potential and facilitate industrialisation, drive sustainable growth and jobs, besides other objectives.”
The Manufacturing Indaba has been recognised as a highlight in the industry, showcasing how global advancements in technology have not only altered the way in which industries conduct business but are also poised to alter how industries in sub-Saharan Africa conduct their business in the future, explains Hart.
Established in 2014, there were 623 attendees in 2018, but the organisers are aiming to increase this to at least 650 this year. Hart states that the conference has been identified as a key growth platform in the country’s manufacturing industries, and a key catalyst in the fight against youth unemployment through its collocating with the Small Business Indaba – a one-day event that will partner with the Manufacturing Indaba to leverage its success.
The Small Business Indaba will connect small, medium-sized and microenterprises with the big players in South Africa’s manufacturing industry and provide them with a platform to find new business and growth opportunities, Hart underscores.
Further, in support of the South African government’s endeavour to establish economic equality and facilitate the sustainable development of black-owned manufacturing businesses, the Manufacturing Indaba has also launched the Black Industrialist Forum together with the Department of Trade and Industry.
The conference also continues to host the Business Matchmaking Programme, a unique initiative that provides conference delegates and exhibitors with an opportunity to connect with influencers and stakeholders relevant to their individual profiles and goals through prearranged and private meetings, conveniently held in a centralised venue.
Hart hopes that the conference will create a space for local companies to increase trade with neighbouring countries and facilitate deal flow to begin the process of selling and exporting products to the rest of Africa, as well as to learn and gain valuable insights from the conference, she explains.
Event management company and Manufacturing Indaba organiser Siyenza would like to develop the countrywide Manufacturing Indaba events in South Africa and in East Africa to further support manufacturers in each region.
“Interest in the East Africa edition is high and we aim to take a fairly large contingent of South African manufacturers to East Africa in May next year to further facilitate cross-border trade opportunities,” Hart asserts.
The Manufacturing Indaba will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, on June 25 and 26.