Monday, 16 May 2016

African Infrastructure Leaders Discuss Innovation in Gauteng

African Infrastructure Leaders Discuss Innovation in GautengTop-level executives and heads from Africa’s leading infrastructure and construction companies and institutions met to discuss strategies to foster industrialisation at a special event held in Johannesburg. The Captains of Construction annual leadership forum included delegates and special speakers from the South African and Congolese governments, as well as key local and global private sector stakeholders.    

In his keynote address, Moe Shaik, former head of South African Intelligence and current General Executive of International Finance from the DBSA warned those present of the current threat posed to regional development through declining levels of infrastructure.    

As s result of the global slump in commodity prices, in 2015 the total revenue from infrastructure and construction projects dropped along with net profits. “Funding from International Development Financing Institutions is drying up” warns Moe Shaik, and should economies not diversify from single commodity incomes, business would decline dramatically. “Your operating model is at risk,” explained Shaik, “And if the current trends continue, how will you survive?”    

A panel followed with an interactive discussion between members of the DBSA, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Ambassador of the DRC to South Africa, Power Africa, Arup, and David Humphrey – the Global Sector Head of Power and Infrastructure from Standard Bank. The panel discussed industrialisation policy goals and how to align strategies between the private and public sectors in order to boost infrastructure projects.     

It was widely agreed that there is a need to change the way in which public private partnerships (PPPs) are approached. Sinazo Sibisi, Group Executive: Infrastructure Delivery at DBSA explained that in order to drive industrialisation, “Both public and private parties need to find more effective ways of working together.” Within this context, it is only when the public sector effectively enables innovation, and when the private sector learns to work with the state, will industrialisation take place in Africa. “Ultimately we need to look at innovation not only in terms of economic returns, but also in terms of development returns for the region.” Read more....

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