JOHANNESBURG, 4 May 2021 – The Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba will focus on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, exploring the various opportunities presented by the AfCFTA.

The Indaba, organised by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, takes place on 24 and 25 May at the IDC Auditorium in Sandton, Johannesburg. It brings together players in the Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector to engage on, and find solutions to the challenges facing the sector.

SEIFSA said with demand for the local M&E sector struggling, it is critical for the industry to be more export-oriented and expand its industrial market footprint. Trade with Africa as part of what promises to become the largest free trade area agreement in the world is one avenue to increase exports.

The Federation said it is critical to engage on the AfCFTA because of its potential to help revive the struggling M&E sector, given the sector’s trading position in Africa. From 2017 to 2020, the net trading position for South Africa in the sector was R412.3bn. “It is hoped that at the Indaba, stakeholders will find sustainable ways to strengthening this position,” the Federation said.

Confirmed speakers for this session include Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Wamkele Mene, Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett and John Rocha, Chief Director of Export Promotion, Development and Outward Investment Branch at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.