Is mine closure sustainable?


PRESS RELEASE: Is mine closure sustainable?

Sandton, South Africa, Tuesday, 5 June 2018 – Mining continues to be one of the main driving forces of the South African economy.  After nearly 150 years of coal mining, the country is facing closure of a large number of coal mines as they come to the end of their lifespan, including mines that have been historically abandoned.  The activities of the mining sector have led to serious environmental consequences.  The regional mining activities have resulted in cumulative impacts such as pollution concentrates in shared water courses that affects the whole Mpumalanga Region.  This calls for a shift in the traditional thinking around mine closure, requiring sustainable solutions that will minimise environmental degradation, loss of income and social and economic stagnation on a regional scale.

Collaborative efforts by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) with private sector companies may hold the answer. At a Nedbank-NBF Networking Forum hosted in Sandton on 5 June 2018, such a collaborative platform, the Mine Water Coordinating Body (MWCB) was launched. The MWCB is a neutral platform for stakeholder engagement from the public, private and civil society sectors which will facilitate and coordinate stakeholder engagement to jointly identify common challenges and to propose and implement joint solutions.

The MWCB has identified critical issues that require immediate corrective action. According to the findings of the MWCB, South Africa’s operational mine water management is not sustainable and there are currently no long-term solutions for water management and mine closure. 

“Significant technical, financial and legal input is required to make our mining sector more sustainable. There has to be a shift in our current approach which is made of solutions that are implemented in silos making the process costly and inefficient.  Partnerships and collaboration between communities, government and private sector are the only way to resolve these issues to ensure a long term sustainable solution for the region”, said Lynette Chen, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF), host of the MWCB.

According to the body, there are difficulties in obtaining legislative approvals for mine effected water use and closure activities. This has to be resolved expediently as some of the coalfields of South Africa are nearing the end of their life spans.  An innovative “triple bottom line” approach to rehabilitation, land management and long-term water management will be followed to ensure that new enterprises and job opportunities are created, thereby ensuring community upliftment.  

“Mine closure is not the end of economic activity in mining communities but the beginning of new opportunities.  The MWCB’s innovative Green Engine project will implement projects to encourage green circular economic development and entrepreneurship during and after mine closure. This will be done through partnership and collaboration between companies and communities on joint projects that will utilise the waste from mines and repurpose them to generate energy, provide water for agriculture and create new businesses that will ensure a ‘second economy’ is created that will sustain the communities post mine closure”, said Ms Ritva Mulhbauer, Manager: Water AngloAmerican Thermal Coal, and Co-Chairperson of the MWCB Steering Committee.

Though the challenges facing the country’s mining sector seem insurmountable, the MWCB believes that they can be overcome. 

“Sustainable mine closure cannot be achieved in isolation, but through collaboration within the mining industry and government, much can be done to create an enabling policy environment for creative and sustainable mine closure options”, said Mr Marius Keet, Chief Director: Mine Water Manager and Co-chairperson of the MWCB Steering Committee.

The partnership for MWCB is expected to grow as the platform gains momentum. Currently, the collaboration platform, hosted by the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) consists of the DMR, DWS, Mpumalanga Provincial Government, AngloCoal, South32, Eskom, Exxaro, Glencore, SASOL, Mineral Council of South Africa, Water Research Commission (WRC), Strategic Water Partners Network of South Africa (SWPN), Trans-Caledon Tunnel Agency (TCTA) and various national and international funding agencies and other private entity parties.

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Join us in Windhoek, Namibia for the 3rd Annual SADC Industrialisation Week


Dear NBF Stakeholder,
The SADC Secretariat, the Republic of Namibia's Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and SME Development, the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) and the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) would like to invite you to the 3rd Annual SADC Industrialisation Week (SIW) which will be hosted from Monday, 30 July 2018 to Wednesday, 1 August 2018 at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre in Windhoek, Namibia.
The SIW is an annual public-private engagement platform aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-African trade and investment in developing cross border value chains in the region. In alignment with the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Action Plan, this year's event is themed'Promoting Infrastructure and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development'. SIW 2018 will be hosted as a precursor to the SADC Heads of States and Government Summit and its outputs will be reported to the annual SADC Ministers Meeting.
We invite you to register your attendance by clicking the link below and join us for this SADC highlight event. SIW 2018 will feature keynote addresses from high profile speakers on a wide range of themes and topics related to the industrialisation opportunities in SADC; panel discussions with industry experts and project owners; break-away sessions on energy (gas), agriprocessing, mining and pharmaceutical sectors; exhibitions; factory site visits; training seminars for SMEs as well as networking opportunities.
On the margins of SIW 2018, the government of Namibia will be hosting a 3-day exhibition to showcase African products and provide opportunities for cross border collaboration and trading. Should you be interested in participating as an exhibitor, please contact Muzire Murangi on email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or tel: +264 81 278 7847 for more information.


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Through an extensive network of strategic partners and stakeholders across the continent, the NBF has the resources and experiences that enable it to become a thought leader and information hub for development activities in Africa. Through our publications, we inform, advise and provide accurate updates regarding NBF interventions which relate to Africa’s current status as well as its future plans for growth and development. Here are some of our publications.


Annual NEPAD Yearbook

NBF Integrated Report

North-South Rail Corridor ProjectBrochure

PPP Training Brochure




CEO’s 2017 Year-end remarks

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We have come to the end of yet another exciting year.

Upon reflection, 2017 has been a year of major shifts in global politics and economics which have sometimes seemed that Africa’s profile as a hot destination for investment and growth was not a focus in foreign policies of developed countries.   Despite this perception, it is my belief that Africa is still firmly on a strong growth trajectory and that the current international trend of inward looking policies by most developed nations, have reinforced the commitment by African countries to cooperate with each other and become more self-reliant. 

Whilst foreign direct investment and partnerships with international companies is important to spur economic growth, the long term focus on securing sustainable and vibrant economies, must remain the responsibility of Africans to increase intra-African trade and investment.

The recent global economic downturn, slowdown in China’s growth and the shift of American policies with the election of President Donald Trump are just a few examples of how much can change within the span of a year or two, and now we know that such changes in the global context can easily thwart African strategies originally designed with much longer timeframes.

On the whole, Africa must become smarter and learn faster if we are to achieve our development objectives as well as take advantage of future opportunities. The peak of Africa’s demographic dividend (when our youth and able bodied will represent the largest percentage of our ballooning population) is fast approaching and we must be ready to catapult African economies towards higher GDP thresholds. It will take cooperation and collaboration by local role players including African governments and businesses with the full support of the African people, working together to create a conducive environment for sustainable socio-economic growth.  Africans must continue to take ownership of our future and diligently protect that position.

At the AU’s 9th African Private Sector Forum, which the NBF co-hosted with the AU and the Department of Science and Technology in November 2017, I was encouraged that African governments are taking more responsibility in defining Africa’s terms of investment by endorsing and releasing the “AU Pan African Investment Codes”, which set out guidelines on development expectations of investors in Africa.

I was also very inspired and encouraged by the passion, vision and technical expertise demonstrated by the 15 African Technopreneurs who demonstrated their innovative products they have designed and invented to address Africa’s challenges.  This next generation of Africans are actively taking responsibility for the continent and coming up with solutions using technology, to drive Industry 4.0 in the continent.  With some additional business mentoring and support, they are sure to make a big difference in the socio-economic development of Africa.

As we wade through the uncertain waters of global economics and politics, I am reminded of the African proverb that says, “Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you.” This is the time for Africans to come together and work as a unit, which will require the active participation of all Africans in a concerted effort aimed at addressing our challenges.

The NBF in 2017

This year, we celebrated a decade of operations in Africa and after 10 years, I can say we have proven our ability to act as neutral facilitators that can bring multiple stakeholders together, moving them past dialogue and getting them to work together on solutions to produce tangible results which have great impact on Africa. Through the successful implementation of our programmes, the NBF has gained credibility and acknowledgement by both African governments and businesses for the important convening and project management role that we play. We will be replicating this model to ensure successful delivery and implementation of projects in Africa.

I take this opportunity to thank our Patrons and Board of Directors for their leadership, and our members and stakeholders for their continued support. I also want to thank the NBF team for their hard work and unwavering dedication and commitment. They have proven once again that it is not the size of the team but the size of one’s ambition that determines excellent results.

I am proud of the work we have done and of the milestones we have reached over the past decade.  The NBF’s work is being recognised and acknowledged as playing a very important role in bringing the private sector closer to governments and collaborating for Africa’s development. Outcomes from our activities in 2017 have demonstrated the convening power of the NBF to deliver projects for impact and I am optimistic about our growth next year. 

Have a restful holiday season and we look forward to working together towards creating a brighter future for Africa in 2018 and beyond.


2017 Programme progress

Through the NBF’s mission of ‘Business for sustainable socio-economic development in Africa’, the organisation aims to achieve inclusive sustainable economic growth across the continent. This is done mainly through NBF programmes and interventions which in 2017, have continued to grow in their scope and focus. Here are some of our major highlights for the year.

Current NBF interventions include the North-South Rail Corridor, a recently launched Gas initiative, an accredited APMG International PPP training programme, Water projects in South Africa including a mine water initiative, a pan-African corporate governance platform and a regional business forum among others.

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Infrastructure: Africa Infrastructure Desk (Afri-ID) - North-South Rail Corridor & Gas Project

We remain committed to accelerating Africa’s infrastructure development as infrastructure remains the key and critical enabler for integration and increased intra-African trade. The Afri-ID’s flagship project is the North-South Corridor rail project which demonstrates the power of collaboration for regional integration. 

Read more


 2017NL 4

Capacity Building: Africa Investment and Integration Desk (AVID) - Public-Private Partnership training

As a neutral facilitator for public-private dialogue, engagements and partnerships, we have found that Africa’s sustainable development can be catalysed by effective cooperation and collaboration between government and business. In this regard, we have focused our interventions on building the capacity of local government and businesses through a Public-Private Partnership training programme.

Read more


 2017NL 2

Regional Integration: Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF)

The African market covers 1.2 billion people and has a total GDP of over USD$3.5 trillion. This large market has the potential to create jobs for a growing population and support more local trade in goods, services and assets. NBF’s current focus on regional integration in SADC is being implemented through the Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) which, under a signed MoU between the SADC Secretariat and the NBF, is an official partner in the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy.

Read more


 2017NL 3

Corporate Governance: African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN)

In the past decade, the world has witnessed a surge in corporate governance reform. Africa as one of the fastest growing destinations for international investment is realising that expedient transformation in business practices that are aligned to global ethics and transparency standards have the ability to increase investment opportunities for the region.

Read more


 2017NL 1

Climate Change:  Strategic Water Partnership Network of South Africa (SWPN) & Mine Water Coordinating Body (MWCB)

This year, South Africa experienced severe drought and water restrictions in the Western Cape, demonstrating the importance of managing water resources not only in South Africa but in Africa as a whole. South Africa is a water scarce country and the SWPN is working in partnership with the SA Department of Water and Sanitation to close the 17% gap between water supply and demand by 2030. In South Africa, the NBF hosts the SWPN Secretariat which is a highly effective public private partnership platform that has been working to sustainably manage South Africa’s water resources to the benefit of all.

Read more


NBF Platforms

The NBF as a neutral facilitator for public-private dialogue has enough convening power to facilitate result oriented government and business engagements which lead to actionable development projects in Africa. Through platforms such as the 9th African Union Private Sector Forum, annual African Leaders in Dialogue dinner and the SADC Industrialisation Week, the NBF has facilitated discussions and deliberations aimed at achieving Africa’s developmental objectives. Here are some of our main platforms for dialogue and an overview of our interactions in 2017.


9th African Union Private Sector Forum

The African Union (AU), the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) in association with Andalem (Ethiopia) hosted the 9th AU Private Sector Forum from 13 - 15 November 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria.

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Annual NEPAD African Leaders in Dialogue

As part of the 9th AU Private Sector Forum, the NBF and the NEPAD Agency with the support of Barclays Africa/ABSA hosted the annual NEPAD African Leaders in Dialogue dinner on the evening of 13 November 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre. 

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Annual NEPAD African Leaders in Dialogue Dinner

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You are cordially invited to the annual NEPAD African Leaders in Dialogue dinner on Monday13 November 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre on Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria. This dinner will start at 18h00 finishing at 22h00 and is brought to you by the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) and the NEPAD Agency with the support of Barclays Africa/ABSA.

H.E Harison Victor, Commissioner for the Department Economic Affairs
African Union
H.E Anyang Agbor Sarah Mbi, Commissioner for the Department  Human Resources, Science and Technology
African Union
Hon. Minister
Ms Naledi Pandor
Department of Science and Technology
Republic of South Africa
Director General
Dr Phil Mjwara
Department of Science and Technology
Republic of South Africa
Please note that the attendance fee for  African Leaders in Dialogue dinner will be ZAR 20,000 excl VAT per table of 10 people or ZAR 2,500 excl VAT per seat.
For more details on sponsorship or payment for the NEPAD ALD, please contact Sisipho Moleshe on email: or tel: +27 10 596 1910.
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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: 9th AU Private Sector Forum & ALD dinner



You are cordially invited to the 9th AU Private Sector Forum from 13 - 15 November 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre on Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria.
As part of the Private Sector Forum, the NBF and the NEPAD Agency with the support of Barclays Africa/ABSA will also be hosting the annual NEPAD African Leaders in Dialoguedinner on the evening of 13 November 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre. The annual NEPAD ALD dinner is a high profile gala dinner which hosts African and G20 Ambassadors as well as senior-level Government Officials and Captains of Industry.
Both events have been themed "Accelerating Africa's Industrialization through Digitization and Techpreneurship", and envision a vibrant, private sector driven and entrepreneurship-led African economy that will  spearhead technology trends to develop African solutions in the implementation of Industry 4.0.
The Private Sector Forum will feature addresses and panel discussions with high level pan-African speakers  as well as  offer match-making opportunities for young techpreneurs with potential financiers and investors.
Please note that registration for these two events is separate. If you would like to attend both events, you will have to register for both events individually. Also note that attendance to the 9th AU Private Sector Forum is free of charge whilst attendance to the  African Leaders in Dialogue dinner will cost ZAR 20,000 per table/ ZAR 2,500 per seat.
AU 9th Private Sector Forum Event (attendance is free)
NEPAD African Leaders in Dialogue dinner (ZAR 20, 000 per table/ ZAR 2,500 per seat) CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


NOTICE: Change of NBF Board of Directors

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As a valued stakeholder of the NEPAD Business Foundation, we would like to inform you of the changes in the constitution of our Board of Directors as announced at our 8th Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, 19 September 2017. 

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Mr Stanley Subramoney who stepped down as NBF Chairman at the AGM having served in this position from 2010 to 2017. Stanley has been appointed as a Patron to the NBF in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the organisation since its inception.

Geoff Mr Geoff Rothschild [CA (SA), MA (SA)], a founder member of the NBF has beedelected the new NBF Chairman. Geoff Chaired the NBF Operations Committee and he is a former Chairman of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Andile Mr Andile Sangqu [B.Acc Sc (Hons), BCom, MBL] has been elected the new NBF Vice Chairman. Andile was appointed as a director of the NBF in 2015. Andile is the Executive Head of Anglo American South Africa.
Gregg Mr Gregory Nott [SA.BA, BL] has been appointed as the new Chairman of the NBF Operations Committee (OPSCO). Gregory was appointed as NBF Director in 2015. Gregory is a Director at Norton Rose Fulbright SA and Head of Africa Practice.
 Trevor Mr Trevor Brown [C.A.(SA)] has been appointed as new Chairman of the NBF Audit and Risk Committee. Trevor was appointed as NBF Director in 2015. Trevor is the Chairman of Deloitte Africa.

Our full list of Directors and Patrons is as follows:

Mr. Geoff Rothschild: Chairman of the Board

Mr. Andile Sangqu: Vice Chairman  of the Board

Mr. Gregory Nott: Operations Committee Chainman

Mr. Trevor Brown: Audit and Risk Committee Chairman

Mrs. Lynette Jules (formerly Lynette Chen): Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Mr. Cas Coovadia: Managing Director, Banking Association of South Africa

Mr. Martyn Davies (Newly appointed - 2017): Managing Director Emerging Markets & Africa, Deloitte Africa

Prof. Mahomed Jahed: Director of Parliamentary Budget Office, Parliament of South Africa

Ms. Kirti Narsai (Newly Appointed - 2017): Senior Director, Government Affairs and Policy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Johnson & Johnson

Mr. Khaya Ngema: Group Executive - Strategy, Transnet SOC Ltd

Prof. Wiseman Nkuhlu: Managing Director, Eclecticcap

Mrs. Yvonne Mhinga: Managing Director, Chaka Chaka Promotions and Princess of Africa Foundation

Mr. Sean Murphy: Group Representative East Africa/Account Leader Power Africa, Mott-MacDonald PDNA

Mr. Mark Williams: Founder, Surenet


Patrons of the NBF

Ms. Graça Machel: Founder, The Graça Machel Trust

Dr. Nkosana Moyo: Founder, Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS)

Dr. Reuel Khoza: Former NBF Chairman and CEO AKA Capital

Mr. Stanley Subramoney: Former NBF Chairman and CEO of Menston Holdings 


Thank you once again to all our stakeholders for your support over the past decade. Your continued participation has been the catalyst that has enabled us to conduct interventions that are helping unlock African potential. 

For more information about the NEPAD Business Foundation please visit our website on  where are our latest integrated report is available.


By order of the Board

Tonderai Mazingaizo

Company Secretary 




NBF Annual General Meeting 2017


The NEPAD Business Foundation will be hosting its eight Annual General Meeting and will also be celebrating 10 years of operations on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at the Nedbank, Ground Floor Block C, 135 Rivonia Campus,  Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton 2196 from 10h30 - 13h00.

All NBF stakeholders are invited to attend this year's meeting themed 'Business for sustainable development in Africa'. NBF members who are unable to attend may elect a proxy to attend in their place. At this AGM, the NBF will provide a report back on the overall performance of the organisation including its programme brands and initiatives. 


Speaker's Bio:

AndileAndile Sangqu was appointed executive head for Anglo American in South Africa on 1 June 2015.

His role includes working with the South African-based businesses to help deliver the group's strategy in the region, provide leadership and co-ordination to the group's stakeholder relations initiatives in South Africa, and facilitate regional alignment with the group's central functions.

e serves as an executive director on the Anglo American SA board, Chairman of the Anglo American Zimele board and as a non-executive director on the Anglo American Platinum board. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Accounting Science (Honours), a Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters of Business Leadership, Higher Diploma in Tax Law and he completed an Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at Insead Business School.

Andile was previously group executive of sustainability and risk at Impala Platinum and brings extensive commercial, mining and stakeholder relations experience from his former executive and board roles.

Prior to his role at Impala Platinum, Andile was executive director for Glencore Xstrata South Africa, served on the Chamber of Mines' National Development Plan Committee and held executive and non-executive roles at Kagiso Trust Investments. Andile currently serves as a director of Business Leadership SA and the vice president of the Chamber of Mines.


African Leaders in Dialogue dinner 2017


The NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) and NEPAD Agency will once again be hosting the NEPAD annual African Leaders in Dialogue dinner on Monday,  13 November 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre on Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria.

The ALD dinner will be hosted as the highlight dinner for the The 9th AU Private Sector Forum will will run from 13 - 15 November 2017 at the same venue. The theme for both events will be "Accelerating Africa's Industrialization through Digitization and Techpreneurship." This year's ALD dinner envision a vibrant, private sector driven and entrepreneurship led African economy that will  spearhead technology trends to develop African solutions in the implementation of Industry 4.0.

Among confirmed Diplomatic dignitaries are Ambassador of the Republic of Angola; High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana; Head of Office: Commercial Counsellor, High Commission of Canada; Ambassador of the State of Eritrea; Ambassador of Finland; Chargé d'Affaires, Federal Republic of Germany; First Secretary, Embassy of Japan; Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Liberia; High Commissioner of the Republic of Malawi; High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia; Ambassador of the Republic of Niger; Ambassador of Portugal; Ambassador of Sri Lanka; Trade Director for Southern Africa, High Commission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland; Ambassador of the United States of America; and Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The NBF will be selling corporate tables for the NEPAD African Leaders in Dialogue dinner at the cost of ZAR 20,000 per table. For more details, please contact Terrence Mutuswa on email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel: +27 10 596 1892.

Sunninghill Declaration 2017

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The Sunninghill Declaration is the outcome document of the SADC Indusstrialisation Week 2017 and the report that will be shared with Heads of States at the SADC Heads of States Summit in South Africa.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017: Day 2: Financing Infrastructure Conference & Pharmaceuticals Conference


Day 2 of the SADC Industrialization Week hosted two parallel conferences, the Financing Infrastructure Conference and the Regional Pharmaceuticals Conference.

The Financing Infrastructure Conference focused on the importance developing quality infrastructure as a requirement to ensure the implementation of SADC’S Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2030. The NBF profiled the North-South Rail Corridor as a quintessential example of the type of projects the region should prioritise.


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AfDB Project Prep financing instruments - July 2017

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The Regional Pharmaceutical Conference launched the SADC’s Pharmaceutical Business Plan which will look at the gaps within the entire value chain process in order to form public-private partnerships that will develop solutions required in the industry.


Introduction to SIRESS- SABF

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SADC Industrialization Week 2017_ The Intra-African Trade Imperative

Pharmaceutical working group update



Monday, 31 July 2017 – DAY 1: ‘What will an industrializing SADC look like by 2030?’


The SADC Secretariat, the Southern African Business Forum (SABF) and the NBF kick-started the second annual SADC Industrialization Week alongside the third SABF Conference at the Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The theme for this year’s SADC Industrialization Week was ‘Partnering with the private sector in developing regional value chains’, and the event aimed at bringing together government, business, civil society and academics in order to form strategic partnerships that will facilitate the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2030.

Attending delegates participated during the SADC Industrialization envisioning exercise which looked at what an industrialized region would like in 2030 and what necessary steps and partnerships where required to achieve the vision.


What will an Industrializing SADC look like in 2030?

SADC Industrialization Week 2017_ The Intra-African Trade Imperative

Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP)

North-South Rail Corridor

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INFRASTRUCTURE: SADC rail project for seamless infrastructure green-lights pre-feasibility study


Transport infrastructure is one of the key enablers for economic growth in Southern Africa. The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite believe that the ability to speed up and increase the flow of goods transported and traded between neighbouring countries will reduce the transaction costs of cross-border trade in Africa, thereby boosting income earned from intra-African trade.

With funding from the DBSA-managed ‘SADC Project Preparation Development Facility’, the NBF’s Africa Infrastructure Desk (Afri-ID) will be conducting a pre-feasibility study on the North-South Corridor rail network (NSC) to help unlock higher trade volumes in Southern Africa.

The NSC involves the DRC, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana with rail line links from the port of Durban to the Copper belt in DRC and Zambia.

The study will outline the key factors for project viability including the rehabilitation and upgrade of existing infrastructure and equipment; a joint operational model; market demand along the line and a new financial model. The study will also explore the prospects of creating a seamless rail logistics corridor that will promote the migration of traffic from road to rail.

Embedded in the study will be the business case for both government and the private sector to identify innovative funding models for the entire rail corridor including the development of maintenance strategies to allow efficient, safe and competitive operation of trains.


CEO's Desk

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With upsets and shifts around the world being driven by the rise in protectionism in developed nations, Africa’s position, as well as its overall agenda, will not change. Infrastructure development is still critical, our economies need to grow and the standards of living for most Africans need to rise to match global averages. The only change is an increasing urgency to execute strategies and frameworks of the African Union as defined by NEPAD and the AU’s Africa Agenda 2063. The buffer that used to cushion many African economies may soon fall away as most developed nations look more inward for sustainable economic growth as opposed to off shore investments.

The NBF’s mission has never been more relevant to Africa’s development than at this moment. The integration of African economies to foster higher levels of intra-African trade and the mobilisation of local resources and investments to support infrastructure development and industrialisation are just a few of the areas we need to prioritise. African governments must now cooperate with each other and form stronger ties if they are to survive this wave of uncertainty in the global markets. 2017 could be the turnaround year for the African continent as the unstable global situation may finally force us to act in our best interest.


For the NBF, 2016 was an eventful year and the organisation made great progress with its programmes across the board.

The SADC Project Preparation Development Facility managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) awarded a grant to the NBF’s Afri-ID desk to conduct a pre-feasibility study on the North-South Corridor (NSC) rail project, which has been identified as a critical trade route for SADC that requires urgent attention and support to unlock trade volumes.

In addition, the NBF provided technical support to the SADC Secretariat’s Infrastructure and Services unit to accelerate the implementation of priority infrastructure projects. This was done to engage private sector so that it could provide input on the SADC PIDA Acceleration programme, which

comprises a priority list of cross border infrastructure projects that have been identified and approved by SADC Ministers of Transport. In partnership with the SADC Secretariat and its member states, SADC PPP Network, DBSA, the NEPAD Agency and the NBF, are working on the next phase which will focus on the acceleration of these priority projects to bank-ability and financial close.

Through the signed Memorandum of Understanding between the SADC Secretariat and NBF, the Southern Africa Business forum (SABF) has become the SADC Secretariat’s coordinating partner for mobilising private sector support and implement regional initiatives aligned to SADC’s Industrialisation strategy. The SABF working groups met regularly in 2016 to flesh out the challenges being experienced in each sector in order to identify solutions that will remove barriers to trade. The solutions being developed by the SABF working groups could become catalysts to identify key cross border value chains that will spur industrialisation in the region.

The African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN) grew its country membership from 16 to 19 members, by signing on the Institutes of Directors organisations of Algeria, Namibia and Senegal as new members. The Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN) launched an additional three working groups on Water Stewardship (WS); Skills Development and Transformation (SDT); and Sanitation (SANI).

The NBF African Investment and Integration Desk (AVID) ran its first Private Public Partnership training programme through grant support from the UK Prosperity Fund, which focused on building capacity and skills of two South African Municipalities in order to identify and package infrastructure PPP projects. SA National Treasury and the University of Cambridge Business School are two of the NBF’s partners in this practical PPP training programme.

Finally, the NBF was contracted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to conduct a study on extra territorial large scale land based investments in Africa, so as to understand how companies from South Africa, China and India are investing in agriculture in Africa. The results of the study were presented at a workshop held in Beijing, China in November 2016 to gain perspectives on how these investments were demonstrating responsibility and acknowledging governance of tenure and inclusion of local farm dwellers in these investments.


As the CEO, I am proud of the work we have done and of the milestones we have reached. I take this opportunity to thank our Patrons and Board of Directors for their leadership, and our members and stakeholders for their continued support. I also want to thank the NBF team for their hard work and unwavering dedication. They have proven once again that it is not the size of the team but the size of one’s ambition that determines excellent results.

Over the years, the NBF, meaning both the staff and the stakeholders have consistently performed beyond expectations and work jointly to deliver results which have supported Africa’s development, thereby positively impacting the lives of many African citizens. My faith in the organisation and its potential remains strong and I am excited and energised by our successes and new programmes for 2017.

SADC Industrialisation Week (day 2) - Second Annual SABF Conference

IMG 3106 IMG 3093 IMG 3112

As a response to the business community interests to have more input in the Southern African regional trade and industrial policy formulation, the Southern African Business Forum (SABF) was established as a coordinating platform to encourage and facilitate public-private development activities within the SADC region against the backdrop of regional industrialisation. Launched in August 2015 on the margins of the SADC Heads of State Summit in Botswana, the SABF has since established a secretariat that resides at the NEPAD Business Foundation.

On Wednesday,24 August 2016, during the inaugural SADC Industrialisation Week, held in Swaziland, over 200 private sector representatives from across the region gathered for the Second Annual Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) Conference. The SABF Conference was the highlight of the SADC Industrialisation Week and took place on the margins of SADC’s 36 thw Ordinary Summit of Heads of State (31 st August and 1 st September 2016) where King Mswati III is taking on the responsibility as Chairperson of SADC.

The four key points highlighted in the Declaration include:

1. Hard and soft infrastructure shortcomings must always be addressed together. Hard infrastructure is only as useful as the regulatory environment that surrounds it, and either permits or hampers its utilisation.

2. Policy certainty, including stability, predictability, consistency and transparency is a prerequisite to attract investment for regional industrialisation, regardless of sector or scale. Large companies and SMEs from all sectors demand policy certainty regarding the use of tariffs, fees and levies at borders; mining houses and agro-processors called for stable and predictable export regimes; and infrastructure developers and agro-enterprises raised the need for consistent and transparent land use rights.

3. Prioritisation and sequencing is the key to successful implementation. Prioritisation should take into account geographical links, opportunities for incremental implementation to allow for short-term gains and industry-specific requirements to support priority value chains.

4. Enabling trade through the removal of non-tariff barriers, coordinated border management and a solid and efficient regional transit system is a prerequisite for industrialisation in all sectors. 

For more information contact the SABF Programme Manager, Lesley Wentworth on her drirect line:+27 10 596 1900 or on email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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