Conference to focus on intra-Africa trade development

2nd February 2018 By: Jessica Oosthuizen - Creamer Media Reporter

Conference to focus  on intra-Africa  trade development

CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES The Manufacturing Indaba will focus on Africa’s manufacturing potential

This year, the Manufacturing Indaba’s theme is Industrialising Africa, which Manufacturing Indaba MD Liz Hart believes will support the development of more intra-Africa trade opportunities.

“Africa is still relying on agriculture and the export of raw commodities for economic growth. Although industrialisation is growing, Africa’s share of global manufacturing is less than 1%, putting the continent at the bottom of the global value chain.”

Consequently, economic growth has not been creating enough jobs for the growing number of youth and Africa has the resources to ensure industrial success, Hart points out.

To unleash this potential, African countries must embark on a bold agenda driven by private-sector-led investments in industrial transformation. There is a real opportunity for Africa to create jobs and promote inclusive economic transformation through domestic manufacturing and a commodity-based industrialisation process.

Being held at the Sandton Convention Centre this year, Hart notes that this was to support the Indaba’s focus of growth for this year, as it will assist in developing the Indaba to become truly representative of the sub- Saharan African region. The Indaba will grow to become fully representative of Africa in years to come.

“The aim is to bring in African and other country pavilions into the exhibition and the move provides the event with ample space to allow this. The conference topics are currently being reviewed, but many of them will focus on the trade and growth opportunities for our manufacturers to sell into the rest of Africa.”

Hart explains that attendees can expect discussions on the issues and challenges that manufacturers face, with a case study focus on successful companies in the current tough market conditions, with a focus on how they are succeeding as well as how other manufacturers can learn from them.

The Manufacturing Indaba will feature a new initiative – Building our Future Manufacturers – that will provide empowerment and support for emerging manufacturers. “The Indaba will place a lot of focus on helping companies meet the key people and learning how to accelerate their growth into the continent,” Hart says.

Further, the Industry 4.0/Internet of Things (IoT) Conference will be introduced at this year’s event to cater for an increased demand in learning more about how the IoT can assist manufacturers in growing their business, exploring optimisation and increasing productivity. The process of implementation and the impact and benefits of automation will also be addressed.

The Manufacturing Indaba will take place from June 19 to 20.