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“When we put our hands together and work together, Africa will sit at the table of prosperity.” This was the message from renowned Kenyan pan-Africanist, Professor of Law and anti-corruption crusader, Patrick Loch Otieno (PLO) Lumumba, at the inaugural 2020 Africa Supply Chain in Action (ASCA) virtual conference and exhibition. The event saw more than 900 professionals from 44 African countries, representing both private and public sector entities, come together online to share procurement and supply chain learnings to drive socio-economic growth in Africa.
Following the resounding success of the ASCA initiative, a brand-new event has been launched to maintain the momentum of the growing movement to build effective and collaborative partnerships to grow businesses in Africa, for Africa. The inaugural “Made in Africa” event takes place on 13 and 14 April 2021. It will bring together purchasing decision makers, policymakers, investors, and businesses from across the continent.
Made in Africa features a two-day, high-impact online programme that will enable delegates to learn, engage and do business. The event’s theme is “Buy Africa, For Africa”, organisers Smart Procurement World and SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management) have announced.
“The goal is for this gathering to kickstart a movement that achieves measurable impact, access to market opportunities, and economic growth across industry sectors,” reveals Smart Procurement commercial head Keshni Reddy. “A number of interventions, regulations, and trade policies exist; however, there is still a need to create a clear roadmap to connect the right decision and policymakers with relevant businesses and for trade linkages to be facilitated,” she expands. “There is no time like now for the whole continent to unite and work together to enable local business and cross-border trade,” Reddy stresses.
Delegates who attended ASCA 2020 echoed this view. “We need solutions by Africa for Africa,” commented United Kingdom-based supply chain professional Haleema Idris after ASCA 2020. “The fact is that COVID-19 has tested our limits and forced us to be self-sufficient within our continent.”
Also speaking after ASCA 2020, Adenike Onasoga, a supply chain professional in Nigeria, stated: “The biggest takeaway for me is that Africa stands to be one of the globe’s key traders, with supply chain at the core of its policies and huge potential to grow the continent’s various economies."
ASCA featured more than 60 international speakers and delegates and exhibitors from 44 countries. They now form the “ASCAnation” community. Made in Africa will showcase 1 000 local African businesses from across the continent and link them to this powerful and growing online purchasing community, to collaborate, partner, explore and capitalise on opportunities to buy Africa, for Africa.
Key topics that will be explored at Made in Africa include procurement and supply chain inclusion, local suppliers, and policy and regulation.
The stakeholder launch of Made in Africa will take place on 17 February 2021. “The launch will set the scene and scope for the upcoming event and highlight some of the objectives for Made in Africa from a selection of key stakeholders. We urge all organisations and individuals who share our vision of working together to ignite African business to attend the launch and explore how you can collaborate with us on this continental initiative,” Reddy concludes.