Press Release: Infrastructure Africa Business Forum 2012

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The need for infrastructure development in emerging markets is critical. In most African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, infrastructure emerges as a major constraint to doing business. The cost of addressing Africa's infrastructure needs is around $93billion a year, according to the World Bank.

Infrastructure will play a central role in South Africa's economic growth path in the years to come. In his 2012 budget speech in February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the introduction of multi-billion rand infrastructure projects that will help bring down South Africa's high unemployment rate, which stands at 23.9%. The role of parastatals in developing infrastructure, and the long-term financing of infrastructure development, is also expected to be a central issue at the African National Congress's (ANC's) policy conference later this year.

The estimated R850-billion allocated to infrastructure investment over the next two years has marked a departure from Government's emphasis on social services spending to economic growth and employment. Both President Zuma and Finance Minister Gordhan have since spoken of the need for additional infrastructure funding, particularly in water, power and transportation, and that much scope exists for private participation and investment to overcome the estimated R1,5-trillion infrastructure backlog.

The annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum, taking place on the 10th and 11th July 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, will provide both public and private sector stakeholders the opportunity to explore partnerships that will build this key sector of the economy and maximise economic growth, not only in South Africa, but across the continent.

The 2-day annual business forum will bring together Africa's most senior business leaders, policy makers, regulators and media to advance debate and champion delivery of Africa's critical infrastructure requirements, while providing expert advice on the current state of infrastructure and the anticipated impact of future development.

President Zuma recently affirmed, "Should Africa continue to narrow its infrastructure gap, economic growth could be boosted by as much as 2 percentage points a year". Infrastructure Africa 2012 will address the policy and regulatory framework to boost investor confidence and find a way speed up the excruciatingly slow pace of infrastructure developments at ground level. New potential areas to provide financial assistance as well as access to finance to the Infrastructure players will also be explored.

Key sectors to be featured at the 2012 event include: Power & Energy, Transport - Roads / Rail / Ports / Air, Water & Sanitation, Agriculture and ICT & Telecommunication.
The prestigious event is being organised and hosted by Siyenza Management. The company is highly regarded in the business community and displays a sound track record of delivery, voted as one of the top 15 event management companies in Africa. The fourth annual Africa Energy Indaba – a 2-day conference and 3-day exhibition, held annually in February, has proved most successful and the event is now the only energy event endorsed by the World Energy Council.

ENDS

16 April 2012

About Infrastructure Africa Business Forum
The annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 10-11 July 2012 and will present stakeholders with an opportunity to unpack the enormous growth potential in addressing Africa's infrastructure needs. Africa, with a population exceeding 1 billion people is well placed as an emerging market, keen for investment & growth and has successfully maintained an average growth rate of 4% for the past few years as a continent.

The 2 day Business forum will bring together business to explore new trading opportunities, establish new business networks, develop and form partnerships and plan a way forward to address some of the continent's requirements.
For more information please visit: http://www.infrastructure-africa.com/

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