Over 600 delegates and project professionals from around the world have gathered for the 8th annual Project Management Institute Africa Conference being held at the Emara Ole-Sereni Convention Center, Nairobi. Themed The Africa We Want: Together We Can, the three-day event will focus on the momentum of the region’s project economy and the extraordinary work companies and governments across the continent are doing to ensure large-scale projects align with Agenda 2063 strategic goals.
The conference will highlight critical topics, including transforming Africa into a global powerhouse with a key focus on project management cutting across all sectors. Africa stands at the cusp of a transformative era, with a projected population of 1.7 billion and consumer spending soaring to an estimated $6.7 trillion by 2030. This unprecedented growth will be fueled in part by the acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is set to create the world’s largest free trade area for goods and services across member states while deepening economic integration.
“Africa, the cradle of humanity, has always held an incredible promise and potential that shines brighter each day. Once unjustly labelled as the “Dark Continent,” Africa has broken free from the chains of stereotypes and misconceptions. Today, it stands as a beacon of hope, resilience, and innovation, said George Asamani, MD, Project Management Institute, Sub-Saharan Africa
“We’ve invested large amounts of financial and emotional capital in Africa’s growth plans and strategies – Strategy 2030, Vision 2050, Agenda 2063. In the last two decades, the air has changed. You can see, taste, and feel Africa’s positive energy, the dreams we’ve promised ourselves to fulfill.”
According to PMI’s Job Growth and Talent Gap report, employers will need 87.7 million individuals in project management-oriented roles by 2027. The swelling demand for professionals with the necessary mix of competencies to execute mega projects across industries efficiently and effectively is critical for Africa’s journey toward progress.
“Everything we touch is a project; the question is the principles we have for project management and our ability to match the right people with the right skills. We must learn from failed and successful projects to start seeing change,” said Edith Kivengea, Group Head of Talent and Learning, Airtel Africa PLC.
Kenya’s critical sectors, such as education, infrastructure, climate change, and agriculture, require meticulous project planning and execution. However, a glaring gap in project management skills has become evident. It is imperative to strategise and implement approaches that will expedite the development of project management capabilities across Africa.
“My prayer is that today marks a shift in the recognition of project managers across Africa and their contribution. You are sitting amongst a breed of individuals with the know-how to turn ideas into reality. Do not leave here the same way you came in. Leave here with the knowledge of how this skill, how this profession will help you deliver on your priorities, and better still, leave here with partners that will make that happen,” concluded George.