Johannesburg – The annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum (IABF) taking place in Sandton on Monday and Tuesday, the 21st and 22nd July, has drawn infrastructure heavyweights and decision makers from across the African continent, which is set to foster intra-African trade relations and investment opportunities between the continent’s private and public sectors.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and MEC for the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID), Ms. Nandi Mayathula-Khoza will be opening the conference. Further participation has been confirmed from the nations of Angola, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Mozambique, Mauritius and Tanzania.
The line up of speakers who will be addressing this strategic event include: Dr. John Tambi , Infrastructure Specialist, NEPAD Planning & Co-ordinating Agency (NPCA); Rieaz (Moe) Shaik, Group Executive – International Finance, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); William Mzimba, CEO, Accenture; Sean Cleary , Managing Director, Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd and De Buys Scott, Global Head, KPMG Global Infrastructure Advisory, to name a few.
These speakers promise to deliver interesting content and lively debate as the format of the event has a strong focus on audience participation. The importance of intra-African trade is scheduled to be one of the leading themes at the conference and is a top priority for African leaders and despite the introduction of free trade areas, customs unions, and common markets, the level of intra-African trade remains among the lowest in the world. Statistics show that only about 10% of African trade is within the continent, compared to about 40% in North America and about 60% in Western Europe.
“Forums such as the Infrastructure Africa Business Forum provide the opportunity to plan for and share best practice in the delivery of growth enablers such as energy, transport, water and ICT’s,” said MEC Mayathula-Khoza. “The timing of this growing premier gathering of public and private sector infrastructure leaders could not be more opportune.”
The third IABF, held in the heart of Africa’s business hub, is hosted by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) and a number of other partners including the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), RMB, Santam, ACSA, Accenture and Werksmans Attorneys.
The number of infrastructure experts confirmed to speak at this business forum demonstrates the importance and growth potential of infrastructure development across the continent. Panel discussions will debate various pressing issues, including how trade integration can accelerate economic growth as well as the critical steps required to scale up intra-African trade and job creation.
Organised by Siyenza, who also organise Africa’s most high profile energy event – the Africa Energy Indaba – Infrastructure Africa will provide both public and private sector stakeholders the opportunity to explore partnerships and to network with various industry leaders.
In addition to a number of country sessions focusing on unlocking infrastructure opportunities in Africa’s investment hotspots, topics to be featured at the 2014 event include:
Financing infrastructure development
Transport in Africa
ICT & Telecommunications
Energy in Africa
Transboundary water in Africa
African infrastructure projects