AFRICA’S LARGEST VIRTUAL SUPPLY CHAIN CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON COLLABORATION, SUSTAINABILITY, INNOVATION

SNA HIGHLIGHS

Africa’s largest virtual conference for procurement and inbound supply chain professionals will take place on 13 March 2024. The free-to-attend Africa Supply Chain in Action (ASCA) event is now in its fourth year. All African procurement and inbound supply chain practitioners are invited to attend.

This year, ASCA will be held under the theme “Unity in Diversity – Connecting African Supply Chains”, the organisers have announced. Commenting on the theme, John Karani, chairman of the Kenya Institute of Supplies Management (KISM), one of ASCA’s founding members, says: “Supply chain collaboration is the cornerstone of organisational and economic success, like a symphony where partners play crucial notes for efficiency.”

KISM and leading founding industry organisations SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management), Smart Procurement and CILT (the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) launched ASCA in 2020 to support procurement and inbound supply chain professionals who were navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, there has been a fundamental shift in the supply chain as disruption and volatility have become the norm. “It is time for a truly Pan-African supply chain collaborative initiative. ASCA is the catalyst for the transformation of African supply chains into ecosystems of excellence, using the power of unity to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities,” Karani states.

More than 3 000 delegates from 88 countries have attended the event to learn and network. ASCA’s focus is on growing a collaborative continental community of skilled, knowledgeable procurement and inbound supply chain professionals with a shared commitment to African prosperity. In 2024, the conference will put the spotlight on sustainability and circular business practices, transformative technology and innovation. African and international experts will share their insights, experience and expertise through inspiring success stories and compelling case studies.

Bezawit Gizaw, the country representative in Ethiopia for the African Circular Economy Network will present this year’s not to be missed opening keynote entitled “Unlocking Africa’s Sustainable Future: The Power of Circular Economy Supply Chains”. A panel discussion on fostering collaboration for sustainable African supply chains is also one of the highlights of the 2024 programme. The panelists who will lead this important dialogue are Maryanne Karanja, head of Supply Chain Management at Safaricom in Kenya; Elizabeth Tchwenko-Fabu, the founder and CEO of Auth’Afrique in Cameroon; Godfrey Rantshabeng, head of Supply Chain at the Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB); and Tzippora Nusbaum, founder of Fix the Chain in Ghana. Saeed Ande, who is the procurement director for Lafarge Africa in Nigeria, will present the conference’s closing keynote entitled “Unity in Diversity – A Vision for Future African Supply Chains”.

All African procurement and inbound supply chain practitioners are urged to attend the 2024 conference and leverage the ASCA platform to enrich their professional development journey through the high-level conference programme, the invaluable networking, and the opportunity to benchmark best practices across countries. Because it is hosted online and is free to attend, ASCA is accessible to all African practitioners from across the continent, no matter where they are or what their level of expertise is. This is in line with the organisers’ commitment to reducing learning barriers for Africa’s professionals in this critical, dynamic field.

African businesses are also invited to attend and capitalise on ASCA’s learning and networking opportunities. Both new and established businesses will benefit from the latest information and insights on the African marketplace and regulatory environment, will get to hone their skills and knowledge through case studies and practical presentations, and can connect with purchasing decision makers from across the continent.

The third annual Made in Africa conference will run alongside ASCA 2024. Sponsored by Absa, this is the largest virtual gathering of and showcase for African buyers and sellers. This year, it will include practical supplier development and local shoring workshops as well as a dedicated market linkage and Supplier MatchUp programme that has played a pivotal role in growing African businesses since Made In Africa was launched in 2021.