ABD 2019 Focuses on Overcoming Infrastructure Gap in Africa

Verena Utzinger, President, Swiss-African Business Circle, (Photo SABC)

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It is no gainsaying that the growth of Africa’s economy has been hampered by poor and inadequate infrastructure. This is notable in poor and unreliable energy, transportation and communication systems, and health among others.

The Swiss-African Business Circle, (SABC) the organizer of annual business platform, Africa Business Day (ABD) between Switzerland and Africa in recognition of this vital matter chooses infrastructure in Africa as the focus for 2019 edition of ABD under the theme: Overcoming The Infrastructure Gap In Africa.

Infrastructure is the undoubtedly the vehicle that drives the growth of any economy, and its provision provides in this case business opportunities for the African countries and the Swiss companies. The need is very high, according to the African Development Bank’s estimate, the continent has an annual infrastructure deficit of $90 billion.

With such a deficit, the private sector has to play a critical role in providing the needed infrastructure such as reliable sources of energy, efficient transport and communication systems resilient sanitation and smart building infrastructure. This is an opportunity for the Swiss companies to show their know-how, and on what to invest.

At the ABD 2019, participants will be provided with an overview of the infrastructure gap at the macro level in Africa while focusing on the opportunities and challenges for Swiss companies and SMEs working to address this important issue.

Infrastructure, says the organizer, remains an undisputed global priority in Africa as the continent continues to face a massive gap that impedes economic activity and progressive GDP output on the continent.

To provide infrastructure deficit in power, transport, water and sanitation as well as other sectors,  requires the technical capacity to manage the physical construction and on-going maintenance, as well as establishing a “conducive” environment to support complex projects.

The population of the continent is projected to increase from 400 million to 760 million by 2030 and 1.26 billion by 2050, which will put a strain on existing infrastructure and transportation networks across the continent.

By adopting the appropriate range of technology and investing into digital skills training, African cities will be able to improve the quality of life for their citizens and become more competitive in the international economic landscape.

Swiss companies are expected to seize the opportunities and invest in infrastructure in Africa.

The speakers and the themes to address include:

Philippe Valahu, CEO, Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). He will speak on: Overcoming the infrastructure gap in Africa.

Keynote 1: The African Perspective by Deji Alli, Chairman & CEO, Mixta Africa.

Keynote 2: The Swiss Perspective by Ute Redecker, General Manager Digital Grid, Siemens Smart Infrastructure.

Others are:

David Orzan, Partner, The Energy Consulting Group.

Mori Diane, Business Development Director- Governments & Institutions, SGS.

Onyeche Tifase, Managing Director and CEO, Siemens Nigeria.

Laurent Dutheil, Co-Director, Transitec.

Anna Krutikov, Head of Sustainable Development, Glencore.

Dr. Oliver Preisig, Executive Director, Inqaba Biotec

The platform will take place on 28 June 2019 at Siemens Schweiz AG Campus, Theilerstrasse 1a, 6300 Zug

For more information: www.sabc.ch