All Africa Expo ISTMA 2023 > 6 – 10 November 2023 > Cape Town International Convention Centre – South Africa


African companies to showcase their tooling prowess

As the ISTMA 16th World Conference draws near, we explore the tangible benefits of attending the All Africa Expo, which will coincide with the triennial world conference and general assembly.

Tapiwa Samanga, Group Chief Executive Officer at Production Technologies Association of South Africa (PtSA), a membership-based organisation aimed at promoting, protecting, and supporting the collective interests of the Tool, Die, Mould and Special Machining (TDM) industries of South Africa, sheds light on why delegates in the tooling and machining industry should not miss the expo.

What is the All Africa Expo and why was it necessary to organise the event?

This is the second time that PtSA is hosting the ISTMA World Conference and this time around, PtSA wants to maximise the opportunity as the TDM world will converge on South African shores. The opportunity to showcase African innovation and ingenuity could not be missed. Ultimately, the All Africa Expo will enable us to give African companies and our partners an opportunity to participate on a global platform and create new, valuable business relationships.

Why should African companies attend and exhibit at the All Africa Expo?

The All Africa Expo, which will run alongside the ISTMA 16th World Conference, will give an opportunity for African companies, investment agencies and countries to showcase various competencies to a selected continental and global audience. The target market will include potential investment partners, customers, agency partners and suppliers.

It is important to note that representatives from global tooling houses and associated industries, industry leaders and businesspeople from 22 countries and 23 ISTMA member associations (made up of more than 8000 companies) will attend the conference.

How does this access to the many global member companies that form part of ISTMA benefit African companies?

ISTMA, with more than 8 000 member companies grossing over $120 billion annually, provides a golden platform for Africa. By joining ISTMA, African associations get to deal directly with companies at the centre of several key global value chains in the automotive, plastics/packaging sector, aerospace, etc. Secondly, through ISTMA World conferences, like the one PtSA is hosting, webinars, newsletters and periodic reports, members are exposed to current trends in the TDM sector in terms of technology, science, and business intelligence.

What support is PtSA offering machining and tooling companies across the continent?

Besides organising this inaugural All Africa Expo and by hosting the 16th World Conference, PtSA is championing the formation of ISTMA Africa, a business platform for TDM entities across the continent to network, lobby and grow value for members. Secondly, PtSA is sharing with partner associations across the continent experiences from its globally acknowledged INTSIMBI programme mainly focusing on skills development and enterprise competitiveness. Great strides have been made with Zambia and Zimbabwe so far and discussions continue with Malawi, Uganda, Botswana, Kenya and Namibia.

What are some of the tangible take-aways/ benefits of attending the All Africa Expo?

The expo will provide valuable networking and business opportunities with potential customers, business partners, investors, and suppliers, as well as giving an overview of the latest technological developments in the manufacturing industry. Secondly, the interactions will provide real intel about how to invest on the continent.

This expo is the first of its kind, are there plans for this to be an annual event?

There is a niche that we have identified. The Manufacturing Indaba focuses on the downstream side of manufacturing, not the key elements of product design, tooling design, tooling manufacturing, and assembling systems. This is the hidden (but real) heartbeat of sustainable manufacturing. The All Africa Expo seeks to expose not only the extended value chain of manufacturing but also to create a platform for players to network and form viable platforms.

Are there any highlights delegates visitors and conference delegates should look forward to?

Along with the other activities, the exhibition will be a major highlight. It comprises carefully selected companies in the African TDM space. These will include tooling companies, manufacturing companies, machine tool suppliers and tooling importers. In the INDABA Invest in Africa conference on 9 November, presentations by Alec Erwin and Dr Abraham’s Muwanguzi on opportunities in the automotive sector on the continent will unpack valuable intel to guide our companies and other global players in the investment opportunities on the continent.

Entrance to the All Africa Expo is free but interested attendees need to register their attendance online.