Automotive leaders to converge in South Africa with trade and industrialisation agenda

Africa’s automotive policy and industry decision-makers will meet in Durban in November for the in-person Intra African Trade Fair (IATF) that is benefitting from relaxed lock-down restrictions applied in South Africa due to the low COVID 19 infection rates

The main theme of the dedicated Automotive Show, including an exhibition and the Automotive Forum, which are part of the multi-sectoral pan-African trade initiative, is how the auto sector can drive industrialisation on the continent.

According to Automotive Show co-ordinator, Andrew Binning, CEO of Inkanyezi Events, the Automotive Forum will include a roundtable of Heads of State of several countries considering automotive industrialisation. These should include Ghana, Rwanda, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) H.E. Felix- Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo.has been asked to facilitate the Round Table.

“The Forum has attracted Heads of State, industry executives and African industrialists around this agenda, but the wider exhibition, match-making and networking opportunities will connect suppliers of raw materials, vehicles, automotive parts and aftermarket services and technology with buyers across Africa,’’ Binning said.

Featured among the exhibiting global brands are Nissan, Isuzu, EL Industries International, Bosch Automotive, Manelise Group, Medaturist Nigeria, DataDot, Maxe, the AAAM and German Association of the Automotive Industry, among others, Binning said.

Binning said the Forum, was constituted by The African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) and would include presentations from AAAM President Mike Whitfield, and Chairman of Nissan’s Africa Business Unit.

Automotive Forum speakers will address six key themes for the sustainable and viable development of automotive manufacturing on the continent, over two days on November 16 and 17.

Speakers include Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda CEO, Serge Kamuhinda; former South African minister of Trade and Industry Alex Erwin; Executive Director of the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies, Professor Justin Barnes; Technical Director, African Organisation for Standardisation, Reuben Gisore; Standard Bank VAF Africa Regions, Eugene Ochse; Afreximbank Trade and Finance specialist, Frederick Seidu; Automotive Investment Holdings’ (AIH) Johan de Jager; Executive Director of the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa, Renai Moothilal; German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) Head of Future Drives & Electromobility, Exhaust gas, consumption and CO2 emissions, Jakob Seiler; Internationalisation, mobility and global network expert, Professor Dr.-Ing. Frank Straube and Head of Bosch Africa, Dr Markus Thill, among others.

AAAM Executive Director Dave Coffey said the Automotive Tradeshow and Forum at IATF provided “an essential opportunity for policy and automotive decision makers across the continent to refine a common understanding and deepen relationships.”

“The Automotive Forum will connect this range of important role players and pave the path to an African automotive manufacturing supply chain that can optimise the new African Free Trade Agreement.’’ Coffey said.

Binning said the event “was a landmark trade initiative in the automotive sector that was playing a pioneering role in normalising market access, sales and personal networking’’.

The pan-African event, which in its inaugural edition in 2018 in Cairo drew 10 000 visitors and more than 1000 exhibitors, will take place at the Durban ICC and Durban Exhibition Centre, covering close to 15 000 sqm of indoor and outdoor exhibition and conference space.

Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) will take place in Durban from 15 to 21 November 2021.

For more information on the Automotive Show at IATF  view https://www.intrafricantradefair.com/en or email support@inkanyezi.co.za