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Innovation and investment: Key to the growth of the African transport and logistics sectors

Transport Evolution Africa Forum & Expo to address key challenges, opportunities and solutions for the improvement of ports, rails and roads in Africa

The transport industry in Africa has evolved in recent years due to advancements in technology, changes in trade patterns, and through the emergence of new players in the market. Whilst the industry still faces challenges – infrastructure deficiences, insufficient investment, and inadequate regulatory frameworks – transport remains a critical driver of economic growth in Africa, contributing 6.5% to  South Africa’s GDP alone in 2022.[1]

Addressing the challenges, opportunities and innovative solutions for the transport sector across Africa is this year’s Transport Evolution Africa Forum & Expo, taking place from 20-22 September 2023 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC Complex in Durban. The event is co-located with the Logistics Evolution Africa Forum & Expo, which will present long-term strategies and new technology solutions needed to enhance efficiency for the handling, moving and transportation of goods throughout Africa.

“In its 11th year, the show is Africa’s only annual port, rail, and road hub hosting 4000 visitors and 240 exhibitors, providing the platform for an annual gathering of local, regional, and international public and private stakeholders, who plan, build, invest-in and contribute to the development and maintenance of Africa’s ports, rail and road infrastructure,” says Le-Ann Hare, Portfolio Director at dmg events.

The development of transport infrastructure, such as roads, rail networks and ports is crucial for the growth of the industry. Governments across the continent have recognised the importance of infrastructure development by implementing policies to improve transport connectivity, such as the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which aims to develop a modern and integrated transport infrastructure network in Africa, enhacing connectivity and promoting economic growth.[2]

Jeff Blackbeard, member of the advisory board for Transport Evolution and Global Director of Sectors and Markets and Regional Director of Africa and Middle East for Moore Global, says:  “It’s essential to enhance the efficiency of rail, port and road systems across the African continent. This will foster growth and promote cross-border investment and partnerships, to fully realise the potential for transport services to evolve on the continent. I look forward to attending this year’s event where boosting the transport sector is firmly on the agenda and a top priority for all attendees. Together we can achieve greater things.”

Transport Evolution Africa Forum & Expo will highlight new projects and products within the African transport industry, while offering networking and learning opportunities for the industry on the latest and future trends, addressing prevalent issues and solutions to the sector.

Sessions at the event will focus on port sustainability, regulations, polices and implementation, along with renewable energy solutions for trains and railway operators. Recent announcements such as the South African Reserve Bank Governor’s proposal to deregulate South Africa’s transport sector to drive economic growth, and the President’s consideration of measures to ease freight rail network issues[3], will be discussed at this year’s Forum, along with sustainable innovations such as solar power solutions for rail operators and clean energy for Robot Transport Units, amongst other topics.

E-mobility and decarbonising logistics towards net zero will be a top focus, in line with the Department of Transport’s Green Transport Strategy for South Africa (2018 – 2050)[4]. Solutions like this and other efforts will be considered, along with investment opportunities in the transport sector, crucial to establishing sustainable supply chains.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) landscape in Africa is evolving[1] and the Forum will uncover important case studies on leveraging technology and AI responsibly, while ensuring maximum efficiency.

“Attendees should expect to discover fresh ideas, uncover new hubs and trade routes, and hear from industry leaders who are driving positive change forward,” adds Hare.  

The Transport Evolution Africa Awards, previously the Women in Transport Awards, will recognise the excellent work done by individuals and companies who are championing transformation in the workplace across categories such as the Women Excellence in Leadership Award, Technology Innovator Award and Best Sustainability & ESG Programme Award.

The Transport Evolution Awards are open for nominations and take place on 21 September 2023, bringing together Africa’s most renowned transport industry professionals, many of whom have been longstanding attendees of the Transport Evolution Africa Forum & Expo.  Entries close on 23 June 2023. Companies and individuals may enter themselves or be nominated here: Transport Evolution Africa Awards – Transport Evolution Africa

“Partnership and project development, networking, knowledge sharing and recognising outstanding achievements are central to these events, where attendees have a shared vision for a prosperous future for the industry. We look forward to unpacking solutions for the sector’s transformation at this year’s event,” Hare concludes.

For more information, visit: https://transportevolution.com/