Press release

Focal topics at IFAT Africa 2017

August 17, 2017

From drinking water supply to youth development

The environmental industry will gather at IFAT Africa at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from September 12 to 14. The 2017 edition of the African Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Refuse and Recycling will be accompanied by a diverse supporting program that delivers answers to the continent’s pressing environmental problems. Stefan Rummel, Managing Director of Messe München, reveals the program’s highlights

Mr. Rummel, at the premiere in 2015, the supporting program was an integral part of IFAT Africa. What about this year?

We are once again integrating numerous expert talks, panel discussions and seminars in the event in 2017. All in all, numerous items on subjects relating to the African environmental market will be presented to visitors. Our mission for IFAT Africa is to not only offer a business platform, but also to boost the sharing of expertise and to promote innovations.

You mentioned young experts. What does IFAT Africa have in store for them?

Quite a bit. A new forum, the Young Professionals Forum, aims to help young academics to forge valuable contacts and make it easier for them to launch their career in the environmental sector. Anyone wishing to expand their practical experience can take part in the DWA University Challenge. In this competition, students learn how to plan water and waste treatment plants professionally and efficiently. The winning team can look forward to a special prize: a trip to Munich for IFAT, the parent trade fair of IFAT Africa, taking place in May 2018.

Can you highlight the focal topics at IFAT Africa 2017?

The major focus will be on the subject of drinking water. Acute water shortage still poses enormous challenges for the continent’s inhabitants – as I discovered again on my recent trip to South Africa. In order for the crisis to be addressed, we have invited top experts to share their know-how and solution proposals at IFAT Africa. Industrial water treatment also plays an important role in the supporting program this year. Large industries in Africa, such as the beverage and food industry, are increasingly committed to resource-efficient production in order to curb the loss of water. A representative from Pentair, a supplier of filtration and separation technology, will speak about that very subject in his talk Water Treatment and Reuse in the Food and Beverage Industry.

What environmental topics are also on the agenda?

One other focus is on the mining sector. The event will look at what impact mining has on the environment and how the consequences can be minimized. The potential of renewable energies for Africa is also on the agenda. All of these are issues that may be crucial to the continent’s development.

Who is involved in the supporting program?

We traditionally integrate many industry associations, both African and international, at all our IFAT trade fairs. As a result, our events always have their finger on the pulse and reflect the interests of exhibitors and visitors. Participants at IFAT Africa 2017 include: the German-African Business Association, the African Sustainable Energy Association (AFSEA), the German Water Partnership (GWP), the National Recycling Forum, the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa (GIGSA), the International Solid Waste Association, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) and many more.

Thank you for the interview.