Southern Africa strengthens relations with its largest trade partner, the European Union at the fifth South Africa-Italy Summit

The fifth edition of the South Africa-Italy Indaba, taking place this year on October 23 and 24 at the Maslow Hotel, has grown to become one of the most important forums to discuss strategic economic issues between the whole of Southern Africa, Italy and Europe at large.

Organised by The European House Ambrosetti (TEHA), in partnership with the Gauteng Government, the summit was addressed by among others Trevor Manuel, former South African Finance Minister and now President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Special Envoy on Investment, who spoke on the topic of Africa’s viability as an investment destination.

TEHA’s Managing Partner and CEO, Valerio De Molli, said in opening the summit that the event’s aim was “to put Southern Africa on the radar of European companies, together with the many opportunities the region offers”.

Chairman of UBU Investment Holdings Alec Erwin speaks to Trevor Manuel Chairman of Old Mutual and part of the President's Special Envoy on Investment for South African

Other topics addressed at the summit included the “financial tools to improve Africa’s investibility”, the “intermodal paradigm in transport and logistics” and “smart technologies and the city of the future”.

Panelists on Transport and Logistics Discussion

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande

A major highlight on the opening day of the summit was an address by Jonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of California’s Silicon Valley City of Palo Alto.

Some of the points Reichental made was the need to prepare for a world where computers – and not people - would drive cars in future, and how cities needed to be designed differently.

Reichental also spoke of how the future of the world was “solar” and how this would transform the economic systems of the world.

“As leaders we’re not thinking boldly enough. We have the most complex work in the world - in the most complex environments of the world - our cities. We’re just at the beginning of an incredible transformation, where all the possibilities and opportunities to build amazing cities and improve the quality of life of our people, is worth trillions of dollars. I encourage us to innovate cities, because then you can really, truly change the world,” said Reichental.

We, Italtile we a main sponsor for the summit and Italtile representatives attended the summit, sharing in the beliefs in the opportunities for growth and investment between the whole of Southern Africa, Italy and Europe.

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy