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ASCA aims to put Africa “at the table of prosperity”

In his keynote presentation at the inaugural Africa Supply Chain in Action (ASCA) virtual conference and exhibition, renowned Kenyan pan-Africanist, Professor of Law and anti-corruption crusader, Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, said: “When we put our hands together and work together, Africa will sit at the table of prosperity”.

He was addressing close to 1,000 African supply chain and procurement professionals who came together for ASCA 2020, the largest ever Africa-focused online learning, knowledge sharing and networking event for the profession.

In his keynote presentation, Lumumba urged the African delegates to demonstrate to the world that “we have the intellectual wherewithal and we are capable and shall achieve”.

Africa Supply Chain in Action was co-hosted by two leading role players in the African supply chain and procurement profession – SAPICS, the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, and Smart Procurement.

The event featured 60 speakers who covered topics ranging from COVID-19’s impact on supply chains to the rise of informal economies and the circular economy, blockchain and drone technology, skills development, sustainability and e-commerce. French sessions were offered for Francophone attendees from West African regions.

ASCA 2020 also offered a virtual exhibition for companies and individuals, as well as networking for delegates. “Everyone who attended concurred that an initiative of this nature was long overdue,” comments Debbie Tagg, chief operating officer (COO) of Smart Procurement and co-chair of ASCA 2020.

“ASCA 2020 was a packed two-days of online learning, networking and knowledge sharing for delegates from across Africa; in the form of interactive and engaging activities such as panel discussions, VIP topic lounges, and knowledge quizzes, to name a few.

This event now forms the foundation of the ‘ASCAnation’, which will provide supply chain professionals across Africa with an ongoing platform on which they will be able to share ideas, exchange knowledge and explore solutions from across the continent and from which their voices can be heard.

“The event brought together private and public sector supply chain and procurement professionals, breaking down the misconception that supply chain management is different in the sectors, yet the challenges and the skills and competencies required are the same. Through more interaction, we can share successes and challenges and find solutions to benefit both sectors,” Tagg states.

SAPICS COO and co-chair of ASCA2020 Jenny Froome says that the global coronavirus pandemic has raised the profile of supply chain and procurement management as never before.

“Supply chain and procurement professionals all over the world have had to stand up and face the challenges of disruption steadfastly and persistently with a resilience that has never been experienced by the whole globe at the same time. As African supply chain professionals, we know that we need to keep going far into the future; stronger and better than ever before. This resilience needs to be sustainable. It is this imperative that gave rise to ASCA 2020 and the ASCAnation,” she states.

“Through collaboration and education, we can ensure that supply chains across Africa are managed by professionals who are professionally competent and emotionally supported. This has never been as important as it is right now; to ensure that supply chains and economies can survive and thrive beyond COVID-19.”

Froome stresses that events aimed at educating and upskilling supply chain professionals cannot be put on hold until social distancing is behind us and traditional educational events can resume. She says that the 2020 SAPICS Conference – Africa’s leading annual event for supply chain professionals, which was established 41 years ago – will take the form of a virtual conference on 23 and 24 November 2020.

“We hope to be back in Cape Town next year for the 2021 SAPICS Conference, but right now, we look forward to capitalising on opportunities offered by a virtual event and to connecting with the SAPICS supply chain community as always at our reimagined annual conference.”

For further information or to register for SAPICS 2020, call +27 (0)11 023 6701 or email info@SAPICS.org.za. Up-to-the-minute information is also posted on the SAPICS Conference website: https://conference.SAPICS.org

Issued by Express Communications, on behalf of SAPICS and Smart Procurement.

For more information:

Tel:  +27 (0) 11 023 6701

Email:  info@sapics.org.za

ABOUT SAPICS: http://www.sapics.org

Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has become the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in Southern Africa. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide community of accomplished industry professionals. This community is ever-expanding and now includes a multitude of associates in other African countries as well as around the globe. SAPICS is proud to represent the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) as its exclusive premier channel partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Established 41 years ago, the annual SAPICS Conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals. The 2020 SAPICS Conference will be a virtual event on 23 and 24 November 2020.


Smart Procurement (SP) is the largest professional development event for procurement and inbound supply chain, supported and endorsed by industry professional bodies. SP also achieves professional development for procurement and supply chain professionals while achieving economic development objectives in each region through enterprise, supplier development linking small business to supply chain.

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