Opportunities to expand trade and investment
This chapter summarises the evidence received about opportunities to
expand trade and investment with the countries of Africa, particularly
broadening areas of interest beyond the extractive industries. These include: the
emerging free trade area; leveraging existing interests such as mining to
include new areas; Agribusiness; water management; education; technology and infrastructure.
It also includes the promotion of opportunities.
Overview of opportunities
According to a recent paper from Future Directions International, most
of the world's population growth in the 21st century will occur in
Africa. By 2050, it is estimated that the population of Africa will have more
than doubled from its current 1.2 billion people to nearly 2.5 billion.
This population growth is expected to be coupled with rapid urbanisation. The
Future Directions paper anticipates that, by 2100, five of the world's 10
largest cities will be on the African continent.
Africa also lays claim to the world's youngest population, with more
than 50 per cent of the population of Africa younger than 20 years old. Due
to increased life expectancy and reduced infant mortality rates it is expected
that Africa will have access to a young and plentiful workforce.
Regarding trade and integration, a Continental Free Trade Area is being
established under the auspices of the African Union. Negotiations started at
the beginning of 2017 and all 55 African Union members are involved.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) pointed out that 'enhanced
African economic integration with a common set of rules and procedures would
assist Australian business that generally operate across borders and various
There are specific areas where Australia is well placed with relevant
expertise beyond mining capabilities. For example Windlab and Carnegie Clean
Energy drew attention to the export potential of Australia renewable energy
technology to meet a significant energy shortage in large areas of Africa.
Carnegie Clean Energy drew particular attention to the potential for leveraging
Australia's mining capability to include power and water solutions.
Cooperation in education also emerged from a number of submissions, with
some suggesting that the rapid growth of the African workforce would provide an
opportunity for Australia to export its well-regarded education framework,
particularly in the area of vocational education and training.
Mr Gordon Chakaodza, former Australian Trade and Investment Commission
(Austrade) Commissioner, suggested there are commercial opportunities for
Australia in West Africa. Drawing on his experience as former Trade
Commissioner, Mr Chakaodza submitted:
Looking beyond the mining and education sectors, I observed
viable niche opportunities for Australian firms across several sectors:
aviation, food and beverages and security services. Technology is clear
standout as an opportunity area. Africans are enthusiastic adopters of new
technology and Australian start-ups particularly those in the edu-tech and
healthcare space should be encouraged to export their technology to African
Grame Barty and Associates also highlighted opportunities for Australian
...particularly in the areas of infrastructure, resources and
energy, food and agribusiness, international health, advanced manufacturing, technology
DFAT indicated that Australian trade and investment in Africa has
recently seen growth in non-extractive sectors in some regions:
Traditionally, most Australian investment in Africa has
centred on the mining, oil and gas industries. More recently, we have seen
investment in the infrastructure and construction industries, as well as
telecommunications, agriculture and retail, financial and banking sectors.
Expanded trade and investment links are expected for Australian companies
operating out of Morocco, servicing North Africa in food and agriculture;
infrastructure planning and sustainable development; mining, oil and gas; and
However, in its submission, DFAT noted that recent DFAT and Austrade
...the most realistic and immediate commercial opportunities
for Australian companies in Africa are in mining and related equipment,
technology and services; education; agribusiness and food and infrastructure.
The Export Council of Australia stated that 'Africa is a natural
destination for all the products and services related to mining and agriculture
in particular'. Other areas of expertise include: infrastructure and
construction and related services, financial and professional services,
tourism, education, and advanced manufacturing. The top ten growth sectors in
Africa are: resources, wholesale and retail, agriculture, transport and communications,
manufacturing, financial services, public administration, construction, real
estate and business services, and tourism.
Broadening commercial interests
As noted above, with Australian companies well established in the extractive
industries, submissions highlighted the need for Australia to broaden
commercial interests beyond the mining industry.
This was recognised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Julie Bishop
MP in her speech at the Africa Down Under Conference in Perth on 8 September
2017. The Minister emphasised the broadening of Australia's commercial
interests from the already strong base in extractives and mining services,
infrastructure and energy into retail and professional services. The Minister stated
that '[t]he opportunity for mutual growth in our economic partnerships in these
and other sectors is enormous'.
Emerging free trade area
Her Excellency Ms Christelle Sohun, High Commissioner of Mauritius,
informed the committee that:
A few weeks ago, on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, an
agreement was reached for the establishment of an African Continental Free
Trade Area. This will create a single African market for the elimination of
barriers to trade in goods and services—one billion people and a total GDP of
over US$3 trillion, practically on your doorstep. Australia can now engage
constructively with African countries to seize the numerous untapped trade and
investment opportunities available in Africa.
High Commissioner Sohun added that it was signed by 44 countries.
DFAT provided further detail that what was signed on 21 March 2018 was the
framework to establish the Continental Free Trade Area which then would need to
be ratified by 22 countries before coming into effect and this may take some
My expectation is that if the negotiations are completed and
the ratification process happens, which could be many years in the making...
However, DFAT welcomed this as a very positive development with the
potential to create one of the largest free trade areas in the world which
would present opportunities for foreign companies and investors.
The agreement has the potential to allow Australian companies with a presence
in one African market broader access to new markets on the African continent without
the burden of existing trade barriers such as tariffs.
Using existing markets and
Until the free trade area comes into force, submitters noted a number of
other markets and mechanisms Australian companies can take advantage of. Grame
Barty and Associates suggested that if an Australian company could become
established in one market, then migration to new markets within a region may be
simpler and more cost effective. For example:
In the case of Africa this might even include marketing opportunities
directly through Australian companies that have established offices or regional
headquarters in the Gulf Coast Countries (GCC) such as UAE, Kuwait or Qatar.
The air logistics and time zone issues from Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha are far
simpler to manage [than] from Perth, Sydney or Melbourne. GCC sovereign wealth
funds are interested in African investment opportunities – especially around
food security. Therefore the concept of 'indirect' Australian access to African
trade and investment opportunities via partnering arrangements with GC
investors is a potentially important one.
Mauritius has positioned itself as a hub for the African region through
its International Finance Centre and Special Economic Zones by providing a
number of incentives and advantages to investors.
The Government of the Republic of Mauritius emphasised that it is already a
member of African regional trading blocs such as the South African Development
Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which
provides duty free access to a market of around 500 million people. The
committee was advised:
Australian companies can therefore establish in Mauritius and
produce for exports to the regional markets, thereby benefiting from the duty
and quota free access. The only requirement is for the Australian companies to
meet the rules of origin requirements of SADC and COMESA.
Tunisia also notes it is an 'ideal hub that provides access to several
major markets' and that it is the 'first southern Mediterranean country to have
signed an Association and Free Trade Agreement with the EU'.
Building on existing opportunities
and relationships in the mining sector
Evidence to the committee highlighted the positive contribution of the
mining industry and that existing projects and relationships could be used to
branch out to other industries.
The committee heard evidence from Carnegie Clean Energy regarding the
opportunity for the establishment of renewable energy systems alongside
Australian mining projects in Africa. Dr Michael Ottaviano, Managing Director
of Carnegie Clean Energy, told the committee that Australian microgrid
technology is well suited to an African environment, and would allow communities
in those regions to leapfrog fixed energy infrastructure in favour of scalable
Additionally, systems of this kind would give Australian mining
companies access to renewable and reliable energy, while opening up new markets
for Australian renewables companies.
Dr Ottaviano also indicated that renewable energy infrastructure would provide
jobs for communities beyond the life of the mines through job creation for the
purpose of infrastructure maintenance.
The committee also heard from Windlab, a Canberra-based renewable energy
company, which operates a number of wind farms in Africa. While Windlab does
not currently cooperate with mining companies, Mr Rob Fisher, Chief Financial
and Operating Officer, drew attention to the common challenges facing the extractives
and renewables sectors.
Secure and sustainable supply
The committee heard from Business for Development, Base Resources, and
Cotton On Group that the presence of Australian mining companies in Africa also
provides a platform for job creation in other sectors. In the case of this
group's Kwale Cotton Project, communities surrounding the Base mine were
provided with the training and resources to begin farming cotton.
This cotton is then used in the production of Cotton On garments,
contributing to a secure, sustainable, and transparent supply chain. Mr James
Hubbard, General Manager Risk and Sustainability, Cotton On Group, described
the impact this would have, and the potential for growth:
We believe in this region when it gets to...10,000 farmers that
we would produce about 40,000 T-shirts. That means a bit more to our business
than tonnes, which is less than our full quantity of T-shirts—I think it's only
around 50 per cent of our T-shirts.
Business for Development also indicated that, due to an increased focus
on supply chain accountability and transparency by consumers, there is
potential for greater marketing of development programs, such as the Kwale
project, to consumers:
We're working with Cotton On to consider how we're going to
market this as a product. There aren't many companies that do what Cotton On
are currently doing—going down to the bottom of the supply chain. So there is a
great opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Cotton On
doesn't just work in Australia; they also have operations in South Africa and
Asia. This is a point of difference, and they recognise that and we are looking
to work with a marketing team on that.
Australian Centre for International
The potential for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural
Research (ACIAR) to work with mining companies was also highlighted:
We haven't done anything with Australian mining companies as
yet, but I think there's potential down the track where those companies are looking
to improve their relationship with local communities and local governments.
Helping improve food security is a useful way of doing that, and those
companies have considerable expertise. If we can link up Australian
agricultural expertise with mining expertise, we've got a powerful combination...
Africa is facing particular challenges in the areas of food security and
water resources which are arising from climate change and population growth. With
experience and skills in these areas, Australian companies are well positioned
for Agribusiness opportunities such as that described below.
DFAT provided detail on food security challenges, noting that addressing
this issue will provide opportunities for Australian companies:
Low productivity, poor access to capital, environmental
pressures, land tenure issues, inefficient farm to market infrastructure,
underdeveloped markets and limited value adding activity are common challenges,
and provide opportunities for Australian solutions on a commercial basis.
DFAT suggested that, with food security emerging as a major challenge to
many African countries as a result of rapid population growth and widespread
urbanisation, Australia should look to export its high degree of expertise in
facilitating agriculture in challenging environmental and climatic conditions.
ACIAR noted that Australia, as a country with similar ecosystems to many
regions of the African continent, is well positioned to take advantage of its
status as a leader and innovator within the field of agricultural research and
The committee spoke with ACIAR whose mission is to 'achieve more
productive, resilient and sustainable agriculture in developing countries
through international agricultural research partnerships'.
Working through a partnership model with developing countries, ACIAR has been
operating in Africa for more than 30 years with funding through the aid budget.
However, ACIAR's work also provides commercial opportunities. ACIAR works in
eastern and southern Africa and the work there makes up around 15 per cent of
its research portfolio.
Professor Andrew Campbell, CEO, ACIAR explained the priorities of their current
work in Africa:
...Australia and Africa share similar environmental
constraints: a range of soil types but often not great soils—their soils are
probably better than in Australia—and high levels of climatic variability. So
our work is looking at areas like sustainable intensification and improving
crop resilience, improving livestock production and value chains, a lot of work
on irrigation and water management drawing on Australia's expertise in water
management, improving the adoption of high-value and more nutritious crops and
a significant effort on improving biosecurity, which of course has significant
Professor Campbell explained that in Africa ACIAR also works with
regional organisations as many of its projects work across a number of African
ACIAR highlighted biosecurity threats such as plant pests and diseases which
restrict production and trade between countries in Africa and with the rest of
the world. As noted in chapter 3, to assist in this area ACIAR has developed
the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity partnership established in 2014 which
...directly enhanced plant biosecurity capacity in Africa by
sharing Australian expertise with African colleagues through a program of
capacity building activities and knowledge exchange. Longer-term benefits to
Australia's plant biosecurity and market access interests should also accrue
due to improvements in pest management and certification processes for plant
products, such as cut flowers, exported from Africa to Australia.
DFAT emphasised the opportunities for Australian companies in
agricultural exports and selling agricultural services and technology, noting
that that '[s]ome Australian agribusinesses, such as Costa Group, have also
invested in production of agricultural products in Africa'.
Building partnerships in agribusiness
The submission from ACIAR identified a number of areas in which
Australian businesses may be able to use their skills in a way that could prove
beneficial to development outcomes while delivering profits to businesses and
investors. These are: vaccine development; resilient farm systems;
farmer-to-farmer partnerships; and agritech, such as water sensors.
ACIAR noted the potential for Australian agricultural expertise and
Professor Campbell explained that their scientific partnerships in Africa have
made it easier for Australian companies to develop their own partnerships. He
provided the following example:
...there's a Queensland company working with us on seed supply
in maize where they've benefited a lot from the genetics work we're doing in
Africa to improve varieties for Queensland. But that's likely to lead to
ACIAR submitted that Africa is a challenging environment for private
investment, particularly in agriculture but that over time the policies and
institutions are becoming more business-friendly. For example:
ACIAR projects cooperate with many local SMEs for seed
supply, seedling nurseries and irrigation equipment. As one example, a company
formed by central Queensland farmers to breed better food crop cultivars
participated in a conference organised by the ACIAR maize and legume farming
project in order to assess market opportunities for investing in the African
crop breeding and seed sector.
The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) acknowledged that:
Africa is a hotspot of the global water crisis. Drought and
hunger are recurring events in Africa, destroying people's lives and
undermining economic growth. Without improved water management, water scarcity
will worsen, with global population growth, increased water usage and climate change
compounding the issue.
AWP was established by the Australian Government in 2015 to 'enable
easier access to Australian water experience and expertise in assisting
countries in our region to improve their water resource management'.
While Africa has not been a focus for AWP, it reported that it has responded
when assistance has been sought from African countries.
AWP highlighted that Australia has developed world-leading policy,
regulation and technical tools and therefore:
...many African countries (including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia,
South Africa, Botswana, Senegal and Egypt) have expressed interest in accessing
Australia’s water management experience and expertise.
ACIAR noted that drawing on Australia's expertise they are also undertaking
work on irrigation and water management.
DFAT reported that in countries such as Kenya and Morocco, Australian companies
are active in agriculture and associated water management and related
AWP emphasised the opportunities for public sector and private companies
to provide advice and technical assistance in the area of water management and
Water in most countries is managed by government agencies or
the public sector so there is strong interest in government to government links
with Australia. However, while this is often the entry point, cooperation can
also include the private sector. The WaterGuide dialogue in Senegal, as is also
the case in Jordan, was led by a private company (Aither) but also included specialists
from the Australian public sector.
Noting the importance of DFAT posts to establish contacts in-country and
to facilitate the formation of relationships, AWP also emphasised that Austrade
has a role in arranging for Australian companies to visit countries and establish
links with potential partners.
Australia has emerged as a significant destination for African students
undertaking higher education. In 2016, enrolments of students from the
countries of Africa in Australian universities totalled 12,950.
The top three markets for students are Kenya, Nigeria and Mauritius and there
are opportunities for Australia to capture even more of the African market.
In his submission, Mr Chakaodza reported that:
In September 2015, during my tenure as Trade Commissioner, I
led the first ever Australian Education Exhibition in West Africa. It was the
first time the Australian Government held an organised education activity in
the region. The highly successful education exhibition, held in both Ghana and
Nigeria, resulted in some 5000 people walking through the doors to talk to the
17 Australian education institutions that participated in the exhibition. Such
attendance was unprecedented. It is my contention that the sheer numbers
attending the inaugural exhibition suggest a novelty factor around Australian
Mr Chakaodza suggested that Australian education institutions should
continue to capitalise on this novelty factor and continue recruitment efforts
in the region.
Dr David Mickler observed that the education sector is an area of 'great
potential for Australia to play a leading role in capacity building and
collaboration with Africa'.
Dr Mickler explained further:
The demographic boom, as we've heard previously, will mean
that all of the world's population growth will essentially come from Africa in
the rest of this century, and this will create enormous demands for education,
training, employment and entrepreneurship. This is certainly the message that I
hear when I travel in African countries, work with universities and talk to
students. This is a space where I think the Australian education sector could
play a very important role in collaborating with African universities to meet
the education and training needs of the demographic boom.
However, Dr Mickler was concerned that Australia does not currently
register 'very highly in the perceptions of African students about a
world-class education destination'.
Dr Mickler explained that Australia has established strong linkages in South
Africa and increasingly in Kenya and Ghana, 'but there is very little with
Francophone Africa and very little with North Africa'.
Dr Mickler advocated for a much more proactive approach:
Something that the Australian university sector and
individual institutions need to do much better is to be out there in the
African market. It is an enormous market, particularly in the English-speaking
countries—Nigeria, for example, has 200 million people. There is a huge demand
for English education, postgraduate education and research training. These are
all things that Australian universities do very well, but I just don't think
we're visible enough in that space yet.
DFAT identified that growth in Australia's education relationship with
Africa is expected to be in the area of technical and vocational education and
training (TVET), with Australia well positioned to export its vocational
education framework to markets in Africa in need of these skills.
However as noted in chapter 3, the Australian Business Chamber of
Commerce (Southern Africa) (ABCSA) reported that despite Australia promoting
itself for education purposes, the time delay in issuing visas does not support
potential students. It suggested improving the processing of visa applications
to reduce time delays and uncertainty and to also enable better customer
service platforms for applicants.
DFAT also stated that Australian universities are capitalising on
Australia's well-regarded tertiary education system through the establishment
of campuses abroad:
The destination for students travelling to obtain an
Australian education is also diversifying, with institutions such as Monash
University (Victoria) and Curtin University (Western Australia) attracting
students to their regional campuses in South Africa and the UAE respectively.
There are also growing opportunities to deliver technical and vocational
education and training especially in relation to mining and infrastructure.
Mr Tim Carstens, Managing Director of Base Resources, highlighted his
interactions with the Kenyan National Industrial Training Authority as an
example of educational co-operation:
We have quite a sophisticated industrial training
model—sophisticated by African standards; it's not unusual by Australian
standards. We had the Kenyan National Industrial Training Authority go on a
worldwide tour for six weeks looking at industrial training models about two
years ago. At the very end of that trip they came to pay us a visit, and they
said at the end of that three-day visit, 'We don't really understand why we
bothered going on this six-week tour; we found the model that makes sense in an
African context here,' because we'd contextualised it for Kenya. That has now
been adopted as Kenya's model for industrial training. That's just one example.
We're doing similar things in safety and various other areas.
Grame Barty and Associates noted trends in Africa that will provide the
potential for long term competitive advantage. These include one of the world's
top three mobile phone connected regional populations behind China and India:
The entire African population - regardless of location,
nationality, tribe, age or gender - will shortly be able to access mobile and
smart phone delivered services. This means that high volume, mass market, low
cost cloud based universal new service delivery will be possible.
Tech startups are also on the rise:
As of June, there were 173 tech hubs and incubators in
Africa, according to the World Bank. Venture capital funding in African tech
startups increased by a factor of 10, from $41 million in 2012 to $414 million
in 2014, and is expected to rise to more than $600 million by 2018. The
interesting global trend and opportunity for Australian innovation capability
is to link our relevant innovation ecosystems sector by sector. Through this
African developers would get access to Australian capital and skill and Australian
innovators and capital would get access to a massive new market. This hasn't
escaped the notice of major US technology players like Facebook.
The Export Council of Australia also identified technology in Africa as
an emerging opportunity:
In 2013 the top three investment sectors were technology,
media and telecoms (TMT), retail and consumer products, and financial services,
accounting for over 50% of FDI that year. Mining and metal industries, by
comparison, dropped out of the top 10 sectors. Africa is also increasingly tech
savvy and poised to move straight into the digital age, embracing IoT and
manufacturing 4.0, creating opportunities across the digital spectrum, from
education to artificial intelligence, data and service provision.
In its submission, DFAT noted that 'technological change is creating an
emerging digital economy in Africa and this is having an impact on a range of
Telecommunications network operators are now providing mobile
money transfer applications for smartphones, eliminating the requirement for a
bank account. Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the fastest uptake rates of
digital financing in emerging markets, largely based on person-to-person
transactions but with more sophisticated applications starting to emerge around
point-of-sale payments, international remittances, bank-to-bank transfers,
mobile payroll and even microloans. Over the longer term, digital financing
could enable further developments in e-commerce and on-demand services, as well
as health service delivery and vocational training...Forecasts suggest that
digital finance has the potential to add significantly to the GDP of countries
like Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Providing solutions to meet infrastructure and construction needs was
seen as another key area of Australian expertise.
Investment in infrastructure will contribute to the
production and distribution of...untapped resources and in so doing could lead to
increases in economic growth. In the coming decade, the twin forces of
sustained population growth and rapid urbanisation could transform African
economies, providing openings for international companies to build and power
growing cities and provide the goods and services urban populations demand.
While noting that 'Australian companies do not have access to the
financing terms offered by some countries, making winning construction
contracts outright less likely', DFAT indicated:
...opportunities do exist in other aspects of the
infrastructure life cycle, and there is scope for Australia to assist countries
to improve public sector governance so that procurement and Public Private
Partnerships become more accessible to Australian companies. The Global
Infrastructure Hub, located in Sydney, has shown an interest in Africa as part
of its mandate to grow private sector opportunities in infrastructure, and any
activities encouraging better practice in infrastructure procurement should be
DFAT also reported that a number of African countries have established
development corridors 'to support economic integration and increase
opportunities for trade and investment' and in relation to these:
Australian companies with experience in the resources, energy
and transport sectors are well placed to provide advice, technology, goods and
services to enable integrated ''pit to port'' capability covering heavy haul
rail, intermodal logistics and port management systems.
Promoting opportunities and awareness
The committee was told about a number of forums and events which showcase
Australian capabilities and promote new commercial opportunities in the African
market. Two large annual global expos focussed on mining are the Africa Down
Under conference in Perth and Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
Africa Down Under Conference
The Africa Down Under Conference (ADU) is an annual event held in Perth
to showcase Australia's interests in African mining and energy.
Now in its fifteenth year, the most recent conference was held in Perth
in September 2017. Mr Matthew Neuhaus, Special Adviser, Middle East and Africa
Division, DFAT, indicated that the conference has been successful thus far, and
is anticipated to expand further:
...last week [May 2017] we had the meeting of the Advisory
Group on Australia-Africa Relations here in Canberra. They had a meeting with
the foreign minister. One of the key things on their agenda is the expansion of
the Africa Down Under mining event in Perth in early September every year–it is
a well-established event-–into this broad Australia-Africa Week. Indeed, the
idea of having a Women in Mining event is very much on the agenda, you will be
pleased to know. There is already an existing and broader Women in Mining event
which this year should be on Friday, 8 September, and we want to link up with
The Hon. Bill Johnston, MLA, described the conference as a 'key forum in
strengthening ties between DMIRS [Government of Western Australia's Department
of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety] and African countries':
ADU is a mining forum that attracts ministers and senior
government officials of African countries, industry executives, as well as
investors. The focus of ADU on the mining sector is significant as it is one of
the most significant aspects of the trade and investment relationship between
Australia and Africa.
ADU is hosted and funded by Paydirt Media. Mr Andrew Repart, Executive
Chairman Paydirt Media, explained the objectives of the conference to the
One of the things that Africa Down Under tried to do was to
demystify Africa as a destination and also to demonstrate to the mining
companies that the guys from DFAT are there to help. That's been borne out many
times over. Now very much part of the routine is if you've got a project in
Ghana you get to know the head of mission in Ghana and you let them know what's
DFAT noted that alongside ADU, Australia-Africa week is a 'key platform
to showcase and promote broader business, educational, academic and cultural
links between Australia and Africa'.
The gradual expansion of events to encompass areas other than mining was
noted by the ABCSA:
Australia-Africa week and Africa Down Under (ADU) were very
worthwhile events – and are now being expanded to a broader range of sectors
including education, universities, science and technology. South African
companies should make better use of these opportunities.
It was mentioned that ADU is the highest quality
Africa-focused mining event in the world and ABCSA members supported expansion
to other related business sectors. Companies from outside the mining sector
should look to participate, which would also assist to broaden the scope of
Dr Mickler highlighted the role that ADU has come to play in exploring
aspects of the Australia-Africa relationship through cooperation with other
groups, particularly academia and research:
The Africa Australia Research Forum has been set up primarily
by Murdoch University here in Perth alongside the Africa Down Under mining
conference. That's been going for, I think, six or seven years now, and the aim
of that forum was to provide a research component to an industry conference.
That's usually the day prior to the main conference starting, and the idea was
to get academics, government and industry in the same room and talking about
the issues related to the mining industry. It was a mining specific forum and
continues as part of what's now the Australia-Africa week.
Australia also participates in the annual Mining Indaba, held in Cape
Town each February. Australian participation occurs at both business and
governmental levels, with a number of Australian extractive companies appearing
at the most recent Indaba, alongside the Australian High Commissioner to South
Africa, the Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum, and
representatives of Australian industry groups such as the Australian-Africa
Minerals and Energy Group (AAMEG).
Austrade reported that:
Facilitating Australian engagement at Mining Indaba, the
world’s largest mining investment conference held annually in Cape Town in February,
is Austrade's major promotional activity. The Australia Lounge – managed by
Austrade – is the largest exhibition space at Mining Indaba. The Lounge
showcases Australia's mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) sectors
and complements our business development program. It also provides an
opportunity for Australian companies to develop their in-market networks and
Twenty two Australian companies and six sponsors participated
in Mining Indaba in 2018.
In addition to the ADU conference and Mining Indaba, the committee was
advised that the Western Australian government have an Africa Forum
approximately every three or four months which provides an additional meeting
point for business and government. Mr Repard also noted that they would attend
meetings in Canberra with DFAT representatives four or five times a year 'just
filling in the gaps and planning events and things'.
Austrade informed the committee that in collaboration with DFAT, through
their office in Kenya, they supported a delegation to Ethiopia which covered
mining, infrastructure and agribusiness. In addition they have completed a
series of Gourmet Australia in Africa events around several African countries.
Further, Mr Gregory Harvey, Manager South Asia, Middle East and Africa,
Ministerial, Economic and International Engagement Branch, Austrade, stated:
Another innovative thing we've done recently was to bring African
buyers up to Gulfood, which is a major food and agribusiness show. We find that
in utilising those types of events-where, obviously, they can come and talk to
some other countries and suppliers-that there's already a very good and
well-established Australian participation, including our peak agribusiness
bodies as well as our gourmet and labelled food product manufacturers.
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