Advice and Opinion

The Changing Face Of The African Construction Industry

The African construction industry is changing rapidly with projects getting bigger and more complex. This is due to urbanisation, strong economic growth, a rising middle class and regional integration in many of Africa’s 54 nations. All make for the ever increasing demand in Africa’s construction industry, as big infrastructure projects get underway in the region. This development leaves industry stakeholders with many questions around project finance, project management, priorities for infrastructure spend and how to access the African market place.

Infrastructure finance is one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about obstacles a project has to overcome before eventually becoming reality. Funding from traditional sources such as Development Finance Institutes has become increasingly competitive. Therefore, project owners are looking at alternative opportunities such as project bonds. At the same time, projects have become increasingly complex which makes the project management a lot more demanding. It is more difficult to deliver a project on time and on budget and cross-border collaboration often adds to the complexity. Also, the question of project priority arises. A large chunk of infrastructure investment currently goes into power, energy and transport. Different regions, however, have different priorities. In addition to this, companies are struggling to access the African market – from project information, how to tender and complying with different rules and regulations to skills availability.

To address these issues, collaboration between all stakeholders is inevitable and the market has expressed a need for a neutral platform that encourages networking and the exchange of knowledge. The African Construction Expo and Conference provides such a platform to the industry. Over three days, the event brings together 5000 construction experts from across the continent – architects, contractors, designers, engineering firms, investors, property developers, project owners, quantity surveyors and specifiers – to facilitate an interactive exchange of knowledge and to advance collaboration. The conference covers issues around project finance, project management and property development, and also covers interesting case studies around the construction of energy and transport infrastructure. An access briefing with representatives from various African countries completes the programme.

“With over 5000 attendees, this is Africa’s largest gathering of construction professionals. We are particularly proud of the multi-track programme which offers real value. Visionary keynotes such as Daniel Silke, Director at the Political Futures Consultancy and a panel of Africa’s best Architects have inspiring contributions to make,” says the project director, Stefanie Pillay.

The African Construction Expo and Conference takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa from 26 – 28 May 2014. It is the only forum that brings together construction professionals from the entire African continent. The event hosts a conference that addresses strategic issues around large scale construction of infrastructure projects. An interactive exhibition showcases the latest products and solutions that help deliver projects on time and on budget. A free-to-attend workshop programme provides educational content and encourages a change towards a more sustainable approach to construction.

The event is designed for the industry’s senior level management, investors, government representatives as well as construction professionals of all trades.

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