Sandton Convention Centre had an exciting and successful line-up of events during July with various conferences, an educational expo, a major parliamentary convention, culminating in the multi-faceted Sustainability Week.
43rd CPA Conference
Launching the month’s activities was the 43rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Africa Region Conference, hosted by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, from 29 June to 8 July. The conference theme was ‘Strengthening legislative oversight to improve accountability, deepen democracy and consolidate growth and development in Africa’ and it was officially opened on 3 July by Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who delivered the keynote address.
A total of 16 national branches and 22 sub-national branches attended the conference, with close on 400 delegates, Society of Clerks at the table (SoCATT) and observers participating. The large-scale conference took up the entire Sandton Convention Centre building, covering a wide range of relevant topics.
According to a Gauteng Provincial Legislature spokesman, Sandton Convention Centre was an ideal venue for the conference. “The co-ordination and the execution of the entire conference were professional and well-organised. This included the conference itself, as well as the committee meeting rooms, the media room, offices for the secretariat and support staff, the accreditation centre, the operations room, the business centre, and other requirements. The welcoming dinner for delegates was said to be one of the best the CPA Africa Region Conference has had. Important too, was that Sandton Convention Centre staff were on standby to respond to possible emergencies.”
A record number of more than 6 000 education professionals and learners attended this year’s African Education Week and Career Indaba, organised by Spintelligent, which took place from 2 to 4 July.
“This year was the first time we organised Career Indaba as part of Education Week and more than 4000 learners from all over Gauteng attended, keen to meet with educational institutions and prospective employers,” says Claire O’Connell, African Education Week’s programme director. According to O’Connell, the additional Career Indaba expo meant a 191% increase in visitors and a 33% growth in exhibitors.
The 6th African Education Week is one of the largest education events on the continent with 80 education experts and professionals addressing this year’s conference sessions. The opening keynote session hosted by independent education expert Graeme Bloch featured the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for Education Senzo Mchunu, and Anne van Zyl, Head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
Africa Mining Congress
The inaugural Africa Mining Congress 2012 was organised by Terrapinn and took place from 16 to 19 July. The conference was about finding the right mining projects and accessing funding and finance in Africa. It focuses on the key mining investment issues, including raising capital for exploration and expansion; finding new mining projects; sourcing partners for regional expansion; ensuring effective production and implementing best practice; and more.
The two-day conference attracted more than 100 delegates from all over the world, including Australia, Botswana, China, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierre Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The success of the conference was reinforced by a surprising event at the closing, when Sakhile Ngcobo, Director at De Beers Consolidated Mines, gave away a diamond in honour of Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday.
Aviation Outlook Africa
The 4th annual Aviation Outlook Africa (from 23 to 26 July), also organised by Terrapinn, explored strategies that African carriers can employ to compete globally, focusing on branding, innovation, operational efficiency, partnerships, route maximisation, and new revenue streams.
The event continues to grow in leaps and bounds – with more decision-makers from local and international airlines, airports, investors and government attending every year.
Banking Outlook Africa
Banking Outlook Africa 2012 conference brought together delegates from Africa’s key financial institutions to the Sandton Convention Centre.
Banking Outlook Africa is a conference for retail bankers featuring a separate banking technology day. It is about the opportunities in retail banking markets in Africa, and about providing these banks with ideas, strategies and solutions to capitalise on these opportunities.
The five-day event was organised by Terrapinn and included the two-day conference, a dedicated day on banking technology and two workshops. Delegates attended from leading banking and microfinance institutions from Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Ethiopia, Ghana, Great Britain, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Togo, UAE, USA, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Sustainability Week, held at the end of July, saw Sandton Convention Centre proudly hosting the greenest show in the country.
As the leading green economy expo in South Africa, Sustainability Week featured eight conferences, the Green Home and Lifestyle Fair, and about 100 eco product and technology exhibits, all of which drew great interest from corporate visitors as well as the general public. Exhibition day visitors for the five days numbered about 2000 and conference attendees numbered about 1000 in total.
Sandton Convention Centre proved itself a worthy venue for this auspicious event, having saved an entire year’s energy consumption from 2008 to 2011 through diligent facilities management and the implementation of sustainable procedures.