The 6th annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum (IABF) will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on the 21st and 22nd of August. This event will be attended by government officials, infrastructure experts and business professionals from across the continent, who will discuss ways to advance infrastructure in Africa in the face of the continent’s socio-economic and political challenges.

Infrastructure Africa Business Forum announcedInfrastructure Africa will address a myriad of issues raised by national governments, regional businesses and infrastructure players as they seek new opportunities for growth and address obstacles in the African infrastructure space. One of the primary topics to be discussed will be the developments, challenges and opportunities for infrastructure development in Africa.

In sub-Saharan Africa, poor infrastructure cuts national economic growth by two percentage points every year and reduces productivity by as much as 40%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Integrating infrastructure is critical to deepening regional integration and developing transboundary infrastructure projects, and ways of achieving this will be debated among IABF delegates.

The Forum will also evaluate employment opportunities, job creation and youth development in the context of maximising African content in African infrastructure projects, as well as transformational technology and innovation in Africa. Africa still has much to do to leapfrog its innovation and development into a world where technological advancements and innovation are becoming increasingly important for being a global business player, the IMF believes.

South Sudan and China will be highlighted at the IABF, as South Sudan is an emerging market that is being built from scratch and China has become a primary financier of infrastructure projects in Africa and a strategic trading partner for Africa as Europe’s growth has slowed. South Sudan’s road network, housing, business sector, healthcare, schools and other infrastructure need urgent attention, and the conference will evaluate how the necessary infrastructure and systems are put in place.

The delegates will also discuss how risk in transboundary infrastructure projects can be minimised.

Infrastructure investments require long-term policy planning, with strategic policy frameworks that exceed political cycles, have broad political consensus and are able to endure beyond the next elections. This is particularly true for projects that take place across and between national borders.

Co-ordinating the priority-setting of regional projects has been especially difficult, given the significant differences across countries and sectors in governance and regulatory environments, the varying levels of private-sector involvement, the intensity of economic activity, the conditions of peace and stability, as well as the demand for, and acceptance of, these projects.

Registration for the IABF can be done at http://www.infrastructure-africa.com/

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