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Indaba will create intra-Africa trade opportunities

EXPANDING EXHIBITION Siyenza Management aims to expand the Manufacturing Indaba – the larger the event, the more companies to engage with and to explore added business opportunities
LIZ HART Manufacturing is critical for South Africa and the Manufacturing Indaba is needed to facilitate dialogue

With the 2018 Manufacturing Indaba’s focus being on the development of intra-Africa trade, event organiser Siyenza Management MD Liz Hart says the event will bring key stakeholders together to create opportunities for engagement and dialogue.

She tells Engineering News that Africa has many of the ingredients of industrial success. African countries must unleash this potential by embarking 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. “The Manufacturing Indaba will feature key discussions around what manufacturers need to accomplish this,” Hart comments.

She adds that the event is the largest and only platform that encourages dialogue focused on developing Africa’s manufacturers. It is supported by the Department of Trade and Industry and various other government departments.

“The event provides the critical linkages between government and the private sector necessary to understand government policy relating to manufacturing and what support is available to manufacturers to grow their businesses and explore intra-Africa trade.”

Hart emphasises that manufacturing is critical for South Africa and that the Indaba is needed to facilitate dialogue. She says a thriving manufacturing sector is crucial in driving sustainable, employment-rich growth in the country.

Growth and Goals
Siyenza Management aims to expand the event – “the larger the event, the more companies to engage with and to explore added business opportunities”, says Hart. To support this growth strategy, the Indaba will be held at the more spacious Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng. The event will take place on June 19 and 20.

There will also be increased dialogue this year around addressing the issues and challenges facing manufacturers, as well as how many companies are surviving, and excelling, in the tough market conditions. “A large focus will be on exploring case studies where manufacturers are doing well and how other manufacturers can learn from them.”

There will be a Hosted Buyers programme at the event, bringing in senior decision-makers from Africa responsible for organising meetings, events, conferences or incentives worldwide. She says the programme aims to achieve more growth for South Africa’s manufacturers by providing them with access to counterparts from the continent as well as new markets.

“This will ultimately result in the Manufacturing Indaba becoming truly representative of the continent.”

Further, the theme for the 2018 Indaba is the Future of Manufacturing, and the organiser aims to provide abundant content regarding this, including opportunities, challenges and the latest global trends in manufacturing.

“The Indaba will also explore what Industry 4.0 means for manufacturers and how they can implement it to ensure that they remain competitive and use it to increase manufacturing efficiencies,” Hart adds. Without clear knowledge of Industry 4.0 and how it can impact a business, manufacturers place themselves at risk, she emphasises.

Siyenza Management is expecting more than 500 delegates and 2 500 visitors this year. Some of the notable exhibitors are nutritional food company Nutriwell, State-owned aerospace and defence company Denel, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, safety footwear manufacturer BBF Safety Group and the Department of Trade and Industry.

African manufacturers will participate in this year’s event for the first time and will include participants and exhibitors from Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Botswana.

“This is the fifth edition of the Manufacturing Indaba and we are proud to be the largest locally owned and managed event for the benefit of Africa’s manufacturers. We need manufacturers to support the growth of the event through participation to ultimately enable it to be truly reflective of South Africa and the rest of Africa,” Hart concludes.