AEES 1st Symposium
Suncoast Casino, Durban
21 September 2012
Symposium The African Economic Expansion Summit (AEES) 1st Symposium’s was proposed by the Province of KwaZulu-Natal’s Director General Nkhlanhla Ngidi during the AEES Steering Committee meeting in 2012. The intent of the symposium was to bring leaders from business, government, academia and other sectors from KwaZulu-Natal together to develop a strategy for how the province should position itself in preparation for the African Economic Expansion Summit.
The one day symposium with local stakeholders aimed at identifying ways to position the province to drive African deal flow across the continent. The symposium was opened with strategic vision delivered by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Dr. Zweli Mkhize, MEC of Finance Ms Ina Cronje and Speaker of the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) Cllr Loggie Naidoo. Two guest speakers, Chief Economist of Investment Solutions and Professor Andre Roux from the University of Stellenbouch touched on how the province could use this platform to serve as a gateway to the continent and how future scenarios for Africa's growth look.
Following the guest speaker's presentations the first round table discussion on "Growing KZN’s global competitiveness in technology" opened the debate by looking 3 focused questions:
- How can KZN, public and private sector, develop a value proposition that will promote investment and joint-ventures with globally leading technology partners?
- What’s needed from the public sector to develop a nurturing investment atmosphere?
- What investment programmes and finance initiatives are currently available and how can they assist in developing KZN into a technology hub?
The second round table discussed "Investing in Southern Africa - Trends in Foreign Direct Investment", focusing on:
- How can firms position themselves at the centre of this capital influx?
- What is needed for PPP’s to apply and secure infrastructure investment flows?
- What are the most attractive projects currently being pursued by the world’s major governmental and financial institutions in Africa?
The final discussion focused on "Engaging with Multi-Nationals for Partnerships that maximise economic growth in the rural areas, develop infrastructure and grow the private sector," Core to Africa’s expansion are the partnerships necessary to construct the infrastructure needed to fuel the continent’s economy.
- How should these partnerships be constructed?
- What requirements need to be met to ensure Africa’s development capacitates its people and stimulates the continent’s private sector?