Sassda equips members to tap into billion-rand African projects

Online since 22.03.2018 • Filed under Infrastructure Development • From Issue 7 - March to August 2018 page(s) 28-29
Sassda equips members to tap into billion-rand African projects

Last year, the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (sassda) hosted an Africa Rising Market Intelligence Briefing to provide members with key insights and top tips on how to leverage the ‘African opportunity’ and bypass the lack of information and labyrinth of red tape that thwarts many export and investment opportunities before they even begin.

Speaking at the event, market intelligence specialist, Lesley Squires, said: ‘Further to our interactions and lobbying the Department of Trade and Industry, we want to facilitate the integration of our value chain and enable market integration between sassda members and the rest of the continent.

‘Our aim is to assist members to establish and strengthen product value chains and identify infrastructure and industrial projects on the continent, as well as to work more closely with key economies on behalf of our members. We are already seeing positive results with inter-Africa trade initiatives, and trade with our neighbouring countries continues to present opportunities for sustained growth and development with enormous potential presenting itself for future economic partnerships and investment.’

Potential already realised

‘Our current successes and potential areas of investment for members is seen with projects now running in Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. Going into Africa, we have found that many of the projects are water and sanitation, food and beverage and abattoir related, which all utilise stainless steel and, as we proceed, will come our way. These are development infrastructures lacking in Africa, as well as the sector development we are working towards in these regions as they provide enormous market opportunities for our members and export-oriented sectors of the South African economy,’ she confirmed.

She outlined various projects including those in Mozambique that are finally seeing the launch of a liquid natural gas plant between Pemba and Palma in northern Mozambique, which has an estimated Investment value of $30billion (Source: Reuters). She also updated attendees on a sassda trade mission to Abidjan and San Pedro in Cote d’Ivoire that took place in 2017. ‘Much development needs to take place. For example, it currently takes up to 14 days to get a ship into the port of Abidjan to offload goods, many of which are perishables, so one can imagine the wastage that occurs with this kind of delay’. Because of this, the proposed Port Autonome de San Pedro (PASP) is of interest, particularly with its total project cost of US$1.4billion.

Looking ahead, Lesley commented that the redevelopment of the Port of San Pedro, which currently only has one docking facility, will serve as a gateway into the rest of the surrounding landlocked countries, such as Mali and Guinea, that have large iron ore and manganese reserves.

Regional value chains

Overall, Lesley noted that South Africa now has better leverage with existing regional trade arrangements and various bilateral agreements that members can take advantage of to expand and diversify their imports and exports. ‘Working with the dti’s strategy of fostering intra-Africa trade with South African companies, we advise members not to just consider exporting into Africa but rather to work together with other African countries and become part of regional value chains to add value to products through beneficiation prior to them being exported.’

However, Lesley warned: ‘Don’t go into Africa thinking you’re going to get instant business. It doesn’t work like that. We have seen that business in Africa is all about building relationships and going back time after time. One cannot rush into deals. Members will need to build longterm relationships over months, if not years.’

Government’s view

Also speaking at the event, TIA manager of economic development facilitation, Kwanda Modise said: ‘The South African government has recognised that South Africa can scale up and be more focused in how we approach our engagement in terms of economic development with the African continent.

We aim to contribute to increasing intra-African trade, increasing industrialisation and facilitating higher levels of infrastructure development to the continent.  The approach will be to pursue an outward-bound investment-led trade strategy to the rest of Africa

The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (sassda), launched more than 50 years ago, is made up of members that distribute, market, manufacture and fabricate products and services relevant to stainless steel. With 400 members in sub-Saharan Africa, the association provides a platform for its members to collectively promote the sustainable growth and development of the industry, with the main emphasis on stainless steel converted within the South African economy. For more information, visit www.sassda.co.za.

Issue 7 - March to August 2018

Issue 7 - March to August 2018

This article was featured on page 28-29 of SABI Magazine Issue 7 - March to August 2018 .

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