The 8th annual Project Management Institute Africa Conference will be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, for the first time, PMI announced recently. PMI is the leading professional organisation for project management and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills. The highly anticipated annual conference will take place at the Emara Ole Sereni Hotel from September 10th- 12th this year.
The PMI Africa Conference is the largest gathering of its kind on the continent. It is a platform to shine a light on Africa’s project economy, reflect on the community’s shared values, and champion the extraordinary work of the project professionals. This year’s conference is based on the theme “Africa We Want: Together We Can” and will pursue the knowledge agenda by looking closely at the first decade of Agenda 2063 and the skills transformation needed to enhance project design and implementation.
Building on the success of the previous edition held in Nigeria, the conference will bring together decision-makers, thought leaders, academicians, changemakers and feature eminent national and international speakers. Over 50 speakers and 400 delegates from over 24 countries are expected to participate.
The flagship projects and programmes of Agenda 2063 deemed central to accelerating economic growth and development on the continent, like the integrated high-speed train network, the Grand Inga dam, the establishment of a single African air-transport market, or even the Pan-African e-network, will require skilled project management. The execution will be no less complex, requiring close collaboration and deep coordination across three levels – national, regional, and continental.
“Project management is crucial to one of the first and biggest flagship projects on the anvil, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as it can only succeed with adequate infrastructure.,” says George Asamani, MD, PMI, sub-Saharan Africa.
According to McKinsey, the region’s attempts to address its infrastructure gaps never move beyond the planning stages. The McKinsey report, Solving Africa’s Infrastructure Paradox, finds that, although international investors have sufficient appetite and capital to fund infrastructure projects, “80 percent of infrastructure projects fail at the feasibility and business-planning stage.”
It is widely accepted that project management is critical in ensuring projects achieve their strategic goals of supporting economic growth, generating jobs, and creating resilient infrastructure fit for purpose.
“The need for cooperative efforts between government, private sector, academia, practitioners and for purpose PMI, to work towards a better future has never been greater,” adds Asamani.
“AfCFTA is designed to deepen integration, foster trade, and investment, enhance the mobility of capital and labour, and support industrialisation. The key to its success will be the timely execution of projects identified to invigorate growth, create jobs and address climate goals. If the bloc acts simultaneously, it will lift the regional economy.”
The conference will deliberate on skills transformation, youth empowerment, women in project management sustainability, and accelerating infrastructure development, many of which are central to the flagship projects. The conference has identified these domains as key to Africa’s economic growth.
“The time could not be more fitting to host the PMI Africa Conference in Kenya. The country is experiencing exponential growth in the number of project professionals since 2020, which points to the growing demand for project management. The successful launch of Taifa 1 is a shining example of how projects in science and technology are contributing to our socioeconomic development and our standing globally,” says Jeane Mathenge, President of PMI Kenya Chapter.
“The outer space programme, one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, seeks to enable Africa to obtain maximum benefits from space science, technology, and applications. The launch of Taifa 1 speaks to the growing maturity of managing complex projects and plays well into Vision 2030, Kenya’s bold blueprint to drive the economy.”
The conference, throughout its history, has presented a unique opportunity to explore how project management practices can help shape the future. The platform aims to create an enabling environment for participants from the project management sphere – project, program, and portfolio managers with similar career goals to share best practices, earn professional development units (PDUs), network, and explore new trends and innovations in the field.
The conference is open to a global audience keen to learn how African changemakers and project professionals are seizing this incredible growth opportunity.
“It is evident that Africa needs not only investment and projects but also more knowledge to move projects from paper to prosperity,” Asamani concluded.
The full line-up of speakers will be announced in the next few weeks.