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Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Opens Many Opportunities for Young Professionals in Logistics, Transport and Supply Chain

With the world’s youngest population, and one of the world’s largest single markets, Africa offers exciting opportunities for young professionals in logistics, transport and supply chain. This was the key message delivered at a recent webinar hosted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport: South Africa’s (CILTSA) Next Generation interest group.

SCN Africa

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According to UNICEF’s Generation 2030 Africa V2.0 report, by 2030 Africa will have the world’s largest youngest population group (between the ages 18 – 30). Africa is also becoming the world’s largest single market encompassing 55 counties, a population of 1.2 billion and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$3.2-trillion.

CILTSA President Elvin Harris CMILT explained: “The potential for Africa’s growth is huge! The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in March 2018 offers even more opportunities and benefits”. The objectives of AfCFTA are to create a continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people and capital, and to pave the way for creating a Customs Union. It will also grow intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation across the continent.

“Maximum continental economic development is required to ensure that the current and next generations become a demographic dividend, instead of suffering from extreme poverty,” said Harris. “The current constrained infrastructure – rail, roads, ports, electricity and ICT – is key to economic development”.

Infrastructure development underpins corridor development. “Corridors allow the flow of value both from Africa to global markets, but also within the continent – leveraging the AfCFTA – to grow the continental GDP,” explained Harris. “Corridors also expedite regional integration with increased probability of critical mass for certain economic activities. These opportunities are however delayed by slow infrastructure development, reducing the value exchange between the market and the supplier. The window of opportunity for certain types of minerals, may be limited. Slow infrastructure development may cause such value never to be unlocked for the continent.”

However, Harris believes that there are many opportunities for young professionals in logistics, transport and supply chain. “There are many options that the youth can explore in terms of career advancement:

  • Upskill yourself
  • Be prepared to relocate
  • Start your own venture
  • Move to a new industry
  • Innovate

Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris said “Pandemics have come and gone before – the human race WILL overcome this! In our ‘new normal’, there will be setbacks and chances, but new ways and new growth is virtually guaranteed”.

Logistics

Logistics Going Green

Bernita Marais

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A logistics start-up has launched eco-friendly packaging that allows online retailers to minimize their impact on the environment with last-mile deliveries. The new packaging will offer the same quality, durability, and security everyone has come to expect with an added benefit of leaving minimal impact on the environment.

In South Africa alone, billions of plastic bags are discarded every year. Clinging to trees, spreading across fences, and filling up gutters. Sadly, the logistics industry also contributes to this single-use plastic wastefulness.

Many single-use plastic items are only used for a few minutes and outlive their users for hundreds of years. Being industry disruptors within the logistics field, the logistics start-up has the privilege to address this pressing concern and pilot their new sustainable paper packaging range, which includes mailing bags, envelopes and packaging tape ensuring tough tamperproof and trusted products.

There is no denying it anymore, single-use plastic is not sustainable. By adding this paper packaging option to last-mile delivery every fulfilment strategy can be environmentally sustainable and change the logistics industry altogether.

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Logistics

Abu Qir Port Project Contract Awarded to DEME

SCN Africa

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DEME, the dredging, offshore, environmental, and infrastructure service specialists, announced that at the end of last year it secured a large dredging contract for the Abu Qir port project in Egypt.

Described as the largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract in history, the project includes the reclamation of 1 000ha of new land, the deepening of the port’s approach channel to 23m and the dredging of a turning basin to 22m. More than 150-million cubic metres will be dredged.

This ambitious megaproject creates land for the expansion and further development of Abu Qir, which boasts an ancient history and is slated to become a bustling economic hub, supplementing nearby Alexandria, in Egypt.

DEME will deploy the world’s most powerful CSD (Cutter Suction Dredger) ‘Spartacus’ on the project.

The project’s preparation has already started, with the main works set to commence in early 2021. The project is set for completion in 2023.

“We are very proud to have secured our largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract to date, and to support the Arab Republic of Egypt in its ambitions to develop a world-class project,” says DEME CEO Luc Vandenbulcke.

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Logistics

Convergence Partners acquire CTrack

SCN Africa

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Technology investor Convergence Partners has entered into an agreement with Inseego to acquire 100% of Ctrack’s operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The transaction will be the maiden investment for its third fund, the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF).

Ctrack is a telematics software-as-a-service digital infrastructure platform, providing fleet management, insurance and weather telematics solutions, as well as asset tracking products, to its subscribers in Africa and the Middle East.

Convergence Partners says the business’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) and data analytics capabilities are a key component of an emerging sector in Africa and the company is a good fit with CPDIF’s strategy of identifying high-growth market players that build digital infrastructure on the continent.

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