Addressing key African mobility challenges and solutions, from governance to electrification

by MMC
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The countdown is on to the Smarter Mobility Africa Summit (SMA), an annual event that brings together leading experts, government officials, global mobility influencers and transport professionals for the fifth consecutive year. “Scheduled over three action-packed days, October 1-3, 2023 at the Gallagher Convention Center in Midrand, South Africa, the summit is expected to ignite the mobility industry across Africa with compelling presentations, panel discussions exciting and a range of exciting features that improve the integration of all the technologies and solutions offered,” says Ben Pullen, VUKA Group Mobility Director.

“Under the theme “Achieving Vision 2030 through Smarter Mobility”, the SMA Summit offers invaluable insights to its delegates, equipping them with a comprehensive understanding of the unique mobility challenges and opportunities in the African context. This knowledge drives innovation and collaboration, allowing us to collectively shape a more sustainable, efficient and accessible mobility landscape in Africa,” says Pullen.

Sponsors champion African mobility solutions

Pullen highlights strong support for the event by highlighting high-profile sponsors including Air Products, Sasol, Toyota, AutoTrader, Gautrain, Huawei, uBambano, Visa, Industrial Development Corporation, Sanral, Uber, Spiro and Council for science and technology. Industrial Research (CSIR). This builds on the foundation of this year’s SMA Summit hosting partners, which include the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, the Gauteng Transport Authority and g-FleeT. These sponsors and partners demonstrate their dedication to advancing transport solutions for Africa.

“The objective of the Gautrain Management Agency is: “Transforming spaces, people and the economy through mobility. » Thus, we recognize the importance of understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of mobility in the African context to ensure the economic and social development of the continent. The summit will also provide us with the opportunity to share ideas on the management of the Gautrain project, a smart mode of mobility. public transport that offers a cleaner, greener and integrated public transport service with social, economic and spatial benefits,” says William Dachs, CEO of Gautrain Management Agency.

The SASOL CEO adds: “Sasol is a sponsor of Smarter Mobility Africa and is delighted to participate in this year’s highly anticipated summit, which aims to explore and showcase the future of mobility on the continent and abroad. The transportation sector is a key focus of our sustainability efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change,” says Rita Sikhondze, vice president of market development for the Low Carbon Energy Solutions business. from Sasol.

“Together with our partners Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and Air Products, we will launch a first in South Africa at the summit – a promising solution to decarbonize transport and establish a new ecosystem that will change the mobility sector, reducing thus our dependence. on current forms of fuels,” adds Sikhondze.

This is the first time Huawei Digital Power has introduced its FusionCharge liquid-cooled distributed DC charging solution, which will soon be launched in Africa.

Huawei Digital Power will continue to focus on core charging technologies and innovative solutions in the future and work with partners to build an open and cooperative ecosystem to contribute to the development of the intelligent mobility industry.

Diverse perspectives from industry leaders

The summit program promises to be diverse and engaging, Pullen continues, and features an impressive roster of industry luminaries who will shape the mobility landscape. The summit includes keynote addresses by His Excellency Paul Mashatile, Vice President of the Republic of South Africa, and the Premier of Gauteng, the Honorable Andrek Panyaza Lesufi.

Notable speakers present include MEC for Transport and Logistics, Kedibone Diale-Tlabela MPL; Tanuj Shekhar, Senior Regional Director – Europe & Africa, Shipsy; George Miénie, CEO of AutoTrader; Vusi Thembekwayo, world-renowned speaker, author and investor and Erik Lorentzen, Head of Analysis and Consulting Services at the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

Delegates can expect a wide range of topics, including a session on “Mobility Governance in African Urban Regions”. This session will look at the critical challenges facing African cities and explore how they are addressing them through integrated mobility solutions.

Another highlight of the program is “Bridging the financing gap through public-private partnerships (PPPs)”. This discussion is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how to mobilize capital in a way that unlocks the full potential of transportation infrastructure and will provide insight into how leveraging private sector expertise is crucial to achieving solutions profitable.

The SMA Summit also places strong emphasis on developments in the automotive industry which is experiencing an accelerated transition from internal combustion engines to new energy vehicles. The summit looks at this from a local manufacturing and value chain perspective, while also looking at opportunities for end users – fleet managers and the wider ecosystem. Safety remains a top priority in the mobility landscape, as highlighted in the panel “Prioritizing road safety for sustainable and inclusive transport”. Additionally, the summit will address the challenges of electrifying public transport.

Highlights of 2023 for smarter mobility in Africa

  • Gala dinner on smarter mobility: Celebrate a night of connection, sponsored by uBumbano.
  • Startup Village and Awards: Discover the game-changing ideas of over 40 startups transforming local and global mobility at our event, with a keynote from Vusi Thembekwayo on “Building High-Growth Businesses in Africa” and live pitch sessions.
  • Smarter Fleet Summit: A practical guide for organizations transitioning from internal combustion engines (ICE) to new energy vehicles (NEV). Gain global insights through real-world case studies and innovative solutions in Africa and around the world.
  • Innovative exhibition: Experience the smarter mobility revolution. Discover cutting-edge technologies, from electric bikes to electric trains. Plus, test drive an electric vehicle in the test drive area to get a glimpse of the future.
  • #WeKnowHydrogen demonstration: Witness history as Smarter Mobility Africa, Sasol, TSAM and Air Products introduced Africa’s first hydrogen mobility ecosystem, a major step forward in sustainable transport.
  • Women on Mobility Event: Closing the gender gap in the mobility sector, this new initiative empowers women to lead change, starting with a ‘Women in Mobility Breakfast’ featuring the famous South African Airways pilot , Annabel Vundla.
  • Mobility engagement evening: End the summit with a celebration.

“By attending the SMA Summit, you will gain invaluable insights into the latest trends, technologies and strategies driving sustainable and efficient transportation solutions. The integration of transport solutions is essential to advance mobility. Whether you are interested in public-private partnerships, walking and cycling, gender diversity in mobility, transportation electrification or road safety, our diverse program has something for everyone,” says Pullen. .

“Plus, the networking opportunities at the summit are unparalleled. You will have the chance to connect with experts, form collaborations and take part in discussions that will shape the future of mobility on the African continent,” concludes Pullen.

  • The Smarter Mobility Africa 2023 summit program can be viewed and downloaded here.

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