Yesterday, 24th March 2021, the online trade fair “Doing Construction in Africa – Partnership opportunities for Italian and African companies in the construction supply chain” took place on the platform GO! – Global Opportunities. The event counted 129 actual participants among Italian and African companies and 49 B2Bs among them, making the event a real success.
The trade fair has been organized by E4Impact in collaboration with Confindustria and ANCE in order to promote the deepening of the construction sector in the African continent. In fact, in Africa the infrastructure and construction field is growing more and more rapidly, in particular for what concerns the development of urban real estate and tourism, with a positive impact on the entire supply chain of the sector. This condition can become an opportunity for the Italian construction industry, whose quality is recognized and highly appreciated in the African market in the field of building materials, engineering, and architecture. The need for infrastructure in Africa is estimated to be worth $170 billion by the African Development Bank and the industry is expected to grow at a rate that Oxford Economics estimates at 5.9% per annum. Thus, the Italian business system can and must be the reference partner of the private sector, particularly in the sub-Saharan region, focusing primarily on promoting sustainable development.
The event lasted all day and was divided in two parts. In the morning, a seminar was held by several high-level speakers that presented and analyzed the context and prospects for Italian companies. The afternoon has been entirely dedicated to a session of virtual B2B meetings between Italian and African companies registered in the Marketplace, the portal in which the business profiles of the participants in the initiative are collected.
The day started with the welcoming and opening remarks by Barbara Beltrame, Vice President for Internationalization at Confindustria, Mario Molteni, CEO of E4Impact Foundation, and Federico Ghella, Vice President of ANCE. Following, in the second section, Vincenzo Ercole, Global Head for Italian Infrastructures, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation & ANCE, made an overview of the Italian expertise and technologies in the construction sector. In the third section the focus was on the economic drivers for growth, business opportunities for Italian companies and joint ventures in Africa, with the interventions of Graham Robinson, Global Business Consultant for PINSENT MASONS, Rob Morson, Partner for PINSENT MASONS, and Ian Goodridge, Senior Sector Analyst – Infrastructure for PINSENT MASONS.
Going on with the fourth section, we’ve had the chance to hear Claudio Notarantonio, Director of the supply chain at WeBuild (participant of E4Impact), speaking about Innovation and technology in terms of sustainability and technical excellence. Finally, Alessandro Moretti, partner of Andersen presented Mr. Aubrey Tshalata, President of the National African Federation for the Building Industry (NAFBI), Chairman of ACEEED and Representative of Limpopo Eco-Industrial Park, that showed his experience as an African entrepreneur with an African business.
As far as the second part of the day is concerned, it was a success, as it gave the possibility to the Italian and African companies operating in the construction sector to meet and explore possible partnerships and collaborations.
Everyone who took part in the event strongly believes that collaboration between African and Italian businesses in the field of infrastructure and construction is fundamental, and this event has been a great opportunity to make it become an actual reality.