HOWzit!

It seems as though it has become common rhetoric that Africa’s abundance of resources has been jump-starting the renewal of many other industries across the continent. Like a domino effect.

In our interview with Samantha Pickard for our exclusive feature on Terrapin’s 16th annual Africa Transport and Infrastructure Show coming up on June 24, she discussed a direct correlation between African governments realising “hmm, we have all these mineral resources that we should really capitalise on” and “oh wait, we need efficient transport systems to be able to do that. So…let’s prioritise that as a focus.”

As a result, in the last five years governments across the continent have been embarking on multi-billion dollar investments to upgrade their railways, ports and terminals. From South Africa’s US $12 billion rolling stock renewal and Transnet’s US $37.5 billion investment in its freight rail lines, to Kenya’s $23 billion port and oil refinery
project on its coastal Lamu region, Africa is now implementing some of the largest infrastructure plans in the world.

We caught up with Pickard to get a current pulse on the enthusiasm in the industry and a rundown of what’s expected at this year’s conference and exhibition.

And, our TABJ Q&A is back this issue and we dug into the psyche (at least a layer of it) of DEMO Africa’s executive producer, Harry Hare. If you aren’t familiar with the event, which would be shocking considering the buzz that came out of it last year from the likes of CNN, The Economist and other international media, it has quickly
become one of THE events to tap into Africa’s startup scene.

Last year, Hare and his team helped launch 40 startups, and a few of them have already raised more than US $8 million in investment and/or business deals. Note that the search is on for this year’s candidates, so if you know of any uniquely African startups, or you yourself are an entrepreneur, be sure to check it out.

As always, we invite you to engage with our conversations online on Twitter (@AfricanBJournal) or via email at anastasiat@georgemedia.com. If you know of an interesting initiative in Africa, a notable member of the business community we should highlight, or a company that deserves notice, please reach out. We want to tell your stories because knowledge shared is knowledge gained.

I hope you enjoy this issue,

Anastasia Tubanos
Editor