Final report

IFAT Africa 2017 Closing Report - Second IFAT Africa sets new standards

September 18, 2017

For the first time as a stand-alone event, IFAT Africa became the hub for environmental technology in Southern Africa. Over 1,800 visitors gathered over three days at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from September 12 to 14, 2017. IFAT Africa broke new ground in terms of exhibitors and floor space: 152 exhibitors took part in the trade fair, an increase of 31 percent compared to the previous event, and a 33 percent increase in floor space.

Technologies and solutions for the water, sewage, refuse and recycling sectors were the focus of IFAT Africa 2017 covering an area of over 6,000 square meters. This year, the international character of the trade fair was especially impressive. Stefan Rummel, Managing Director of Messe München, is delighted about the success: “The fact that IFAT Africa attracted so many international and national decision makers at its first stand-alone event is exceptional. This underscores how important IFAT’s topics are for the African market.”

More than 1,800 visitors from 38 countries attended. This was an increase of 5 percent compared to 2015 when the trade fair took place for four days in co-location with bauma CONEXPO AFRICA. There was a similar international trend among exhibitors: 64 percent of the companies came from outside South Africa – from 16 different nations.

Pamela Tshwete, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, stresses the importance of IFAT Africa for the environmental market: “In the resolution of our present global challenges, the countries of the world must talk to each other and exchange technical skills. IFAT Africa is a platform for mutual exchange that shows us what solutions are already in the market and what environmental tools have been employed in other countries.”

Access to sub-Saharan Africa

The exhibitors were equally satisfied, as Andreas Schweitzer from Hermann Sewering GmbH, emphasizes: “IFAT Africa was again very successful for us. High-ranking delegations from South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Ghana provided us with access to markets in Southern Africa. We were able to forge valuable contacts with real decision-makers.” Hennie Pretorius from Endress+Hauser endorses that: “IFAT Africa 2017 was a quality show that attracted quality contacts from both South Africa and the rest of Africa. We took part in the premiere in 2015 and are pleased about how the trade fair has grown. We will definitely be there again in 2019.”

In view of the pressing problem of water shortage, the core issue at the three-day fair was how to ensure a comprehensive supply of water in sub-Saharan Africa. Elaine Crewe, CEO of the local organizer Messe München South Africa, stresses: “This year’s IFAT Africa was the place to meet for everyone wanting to help tackle the water crisis. There was especially strong demand for solutions for resource-conserving water management and water treatment.”

The main focus in the field of waste treatment was how to reduce the burden on landfills in African metropolitan regions. Christa Venter, COO of the municipal waste management service provider Pikitup Johannesburg (SOC) Ltd, says: “We absolutely need to find sustainable alternatives to conventional landfills and drive waste separation and recycling. Key to this is also changing the behavior of our citizens through education and awareness. IFAT Africa has given us a lot of new impetus for that.”

Platform for young talents

There was not only intensive dialog at the trade fair’s stands. Participants also discussed trends in the industry and market developments at the accompanying forums and in the supporting program. For example, the Young Professionals Forum, which was held at IFAT Africa for the first time, attracted many participants. The networking platform informed young talents about career opportunities in the environmental technology sector.

IFAT Africa is part of the IFAT family, the world’s leading network for environmental technology.