Made in Africa: Building The Future of Manufacturing

The annual Manufacturing Indaba provides a platform for international and local industry players in manufacturing to discuss challenges and to share examples and solutions. Some of the 2017 Manufacturing Indaba conference discussions focused on supporting local industry and creating a demand for local goods, contributing to the manufacturing value chain, skills improvement, and initiatives that can assist in moving Africa towards a more advanced manufacturing industry.

Topics and insights from the previous event forms the foundation of the critical themes for the upcoming 2018 Manufacturing Indaba, which has the overarching event theme of “Manufacturing our Future”. Some key points on the required factors for success and the challenges to overcome, as highlighted at the 2017 conference, include:


  • Reinforcing the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, supported by expertise
  • Ongoing risk assessment, understanding the market and adapting to change
  • Modern infrastructure: internet, access to new markets, advanced machinery and equipment, specialised and skilled employees
  • Progress from a producer of raw materials (the smallest place in the value chain), to include value added activities
  • High-impact, low-cost interventions (e.g. Pareto and fishbone analysis)
  • Safe, environmentally compliant workplace
  • Capable employees with continuously developing skills
  • Incentive programmes and policies tailored to support industrial development
  • Promoting greater inclusivity, more equitably spread and moving away from false empowerment
  • Investing in business with high labour usage to preserve jobs
  • Achieving greater coherence in localisation
  • Becoming more EFFICIENT and more COMPETITIVE


  • Global challenges: low demand and investor confidence, lasting impact of 2008 financial crisis, oversupply in some sectors resulting in cut-throat pricing
  • Impending uncertainty of the 4th industrial revolution and what impact this will have for manufacturers
  • High unemployment rate
  • Wages are increasing and productivity is falling
  • Low levels of private sector investment due to the period of slow worldwide economic growth
  • Domestic market not big enough; we need to be a trading economy. Some import opportunities have closed, but unlike China and India we cannot turn to our local markets
  • Electricity costs are increasing above inflation
  • Marginal effective tax rate is among the highest for manufacturing
  • Skills shortages
  • Inefficiencies in roads and infrastructure

Join us at Manufacturing Indaba 2018 to participate in the debate and to learn what
industry specialists say about Manufacturing our Future in Africa.



Visit our new website: to learn more about this prestigious event.


Over $ 600 million worth of Agri projects to be presented in Cape Town this November

Press Release

The African Agri Council in partnership with Wesgro and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture brings the African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII), to Cape Town, South Africa 28 – 30 November 2016. The AAII features a unique and key highlight — the “Investment Discovery Matchmaking” sessions where project owners looking for investors will get the opportunity to pitch a robust panel of investors – a highlight of the Indaba.

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Over 30 projects have already been submitted from 10 African countries covering a range of sectors such as technology, poultry, aquaculture, meat and livestock, fisheries and agro processing to name a few.

“The Investment Discovery Sessions’ database of projects will appeal to a broad range of investors who are looking at getting in the double digit returns that the African agri sector has to offer … half of the projects we’ve found thus far are greenfield and the half focus on expansion and existing projects…with 30 projects already in we expect this number to exceed our 100 project target by November” says Ben Leyka, Executive Director of the African Agri Council who organises the event.

Some of the heavyweight finance and investment companies already on board include Acorn Private Equity, Thebe Investment Corporation, 1K1V, JIC Holdings, Agri Vie Investments, Octopus Investments, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Scibus Investments PTY Ltd., Old Mutual Investment Group, Signature Agri Ventures Ltd., Camscorp, Old Mutual Investment Group, FNB, Deutsche Bank to name a few.

“We are building a platform where delegates can do more to accelerate investment into this sector,” says Leyka.

With participation from Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, DRC, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe to name a few – the African Agri Investment Indaba is a must attend for any financier or investor involved or interested in the African agri sector, whether seasoned or a new entrant. Not only can delegates expect a number of opportunities to network with and learn from industry heavyweights and pioneers, but the unique forum offers a superb opportunity to fill their pipelines.
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Save water, produce energy, innovate to tackle climate change

Sustainable development summits and climate change negotiations have slowly but steadily paved the way to the recognition of the inextricable linkages between water, energy and climate change.

It is undeniable that water and energy resources share a strong interdependence. Equally, both are perceived as stressed, precious and with the potential to trigger conflicts.

Beyond the generation of electricity via hydropower, energy needs water to cool power plants or to produce biofuel, whereas water needs energy to be treated and distributed.

Conversely, poor governance of one sector has knock-on effects for both water and energy security. For instance, a water-intensive industry like mining that often causes point pollution can affect rivers downstream and endanger the environment and human life more broadly.

Among African energy departments, water is an increasing concern on government agendas.

In regions such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the ability of water resources to respond to growing industrial development needs is increasingly questioned today.

Despite the controversial history of large dams across Africa, harnessing this continent’s hydropower potential has been a key feature of recent intergovernmental initiatives, such as the Inga 3 or the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as well as the African Union’s flagship Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

Apart from large dams’ hydroelectricity, other options have emerged that link water and energy in a more sustainable way.

Innovations such as amplified hydropower generation technology – using a cascade principle in a watercourse to increase efficiency, as well as solar plants sustaining water desalinisation processes and activating water distribution pumps – illustrate how water and energy have learned to speak to each other.

In addition, technologies gearing wave and tidal power towards electricity generation or ‘next generation’ hydropower production, such as hydraulic turbines floating in riverbeds, presented at the COP21 solutions exhibition at the Grand Palais, underscore how vital innovation is to respond to climate change challenges.

However, while our societies’ technical skills are expanding at a rapid pace, a gap remains between inventions stemming from public and private research labs and their industrial production to benefit our societies.

Bringing scientific and industrial networks to collaborate is essential, and forums such as the Africa Techno organised in South Africa this year provide concrete platforms for innovative solutions to be turned into climate actions.

More importantly, a rising concern lies in the political and economic treatment of such innovations.

Controversial repartition of governments’ incentives between traditional and renewable energy sources reinforces suspicion.

One suggestion could be to better integrate the respective targets of water and energy sectors, as well as budget allocation regarding infrastructure building and maintenance.

This would enable a concurrent increase in their sustainability, efficiency and equity for all.

Among stakeholders, increasing awareness of climate change challenges has resulted in a better resource allocation at all levels through careful planning, saving and recycling.

Governance patterns have started to transform significantly to reflect systemic water and energy linkages.

But these attempts to manage water and energy have been met with mixed success, partly because most institutions operate under a complex system of unclear mandates and obscure funding.

In addition, they often struggle to build up institutional and legislative capacity gaps. This does not necessarily imply that today’s shaping of resource management is doomed. However, there is a clear need to improve – if not to reconstruct – perception, use and management patterns of resources.

Our increasingly complex resource governance architecture, with a strong security focus, is not able to allow technology and innovation to come to the rescue yet.

Turning innovations to future benefit for all requires the encouragement of interactive work between engineers, researchers, policymakers, industry and civil society groups.

International gatherings bringing diverse stakeholders together are thus essential. The objectives of COP21 include not only the provision of up-to-date scientific and technical information to world leaders, but also the opportunity to innovate enabling mechanisms to tackle the impacts of climate change on present and future resources.

Source: southernafrican

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