• Shaun Bateman

Africa’s biggest ever online event for the supply chain and procurement profession




The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the vital role that supply chains play in the global economy. One of the lessons it has delivered is that flexible, resilient, dynamic supply chains are critical for organisations aiming to succeed in the new business world and survive future disruptions.

To help African supply chain professionals position themselves and their businesses to adapt and thrive in today’s challenging environment and beyond Covid-19, two leading role players in the African supply chain and procurement profession have partnered to host the largest ever online learning, knowledge sharing and networking event for the profession focusing on Africa. SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has joined forces with Smart Procurement, Africa’s leading supply chain and procurement information service, to present this ground-breaking event.

“Africa Supply Chain in Action” takes place on 19 and 20 August 2020 and is expected to bring together over 1 000 procurement and supply chain professionals. The event’s theme is “Adapt and Thrive for the New Tomorrow”. The programme will examine what Africa has learned from the Covid-19 pandemic and how individuals and organisations must work together to change the dialogue, strategies, and operating models in response to the new tomorrow.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Now more than ever it is critical to have solidarity throughout supply chains. More than ever, due diligence and dialogue with suppliers are essential tools for the security and resilience of your supply,” comments Debbie Tagg, COO of Smart Procurement.

“Our aim is to help supply chain professionals and businesses to reposition themselves to recover from the pandemic and make 2021 a success,” says SAPICS president Keabetswe Mpane. “An online event of this magnitude specifically focused on African supply chains and the professionals managing them has not been produced before, and SAPICS is very excited to be collaborating with Smart Procurement to offer a unique approach to optimising supply chains, addressing the profession’s skills gaps and formulating strategies to take African procurement and supply chain management to the next level.”

Africa Supply Chain in Action will place the spotlight on the entire end-to-end supply chain, from sourcing through to delivery. It will showcase the latest world-class tools and techniques, global trends, African case studies, and disruptive technologies designed to drive supply chain efficiency.

The organisers have lined up five powerful tracks relevant to the entire supply chain and modeled on the APICS SCOR model. These have been dubbed “ProPlanning”, “SuperSourcing”, “MiracleMaking”, “DynamicDelivery” and “RobustReturn”.

French sessions will be offered for Francophone attendees from West African regions.

In addition to its education aspect, Africa Supply Chain in Action will offer an invaluable networking opportunity for delegates, as well as a virtual exhibition for companies and individuals. Supply chain professionals will be able to link up and network after the event using the SmartXchange platform.


“This is a meeting system developed by Smart Procurement to connect professionals as well as create a marketplace for SMMEs to showcase their products and services where buyers can see and purchase their offerings,” Tagg explains. “This is the ultimate sourcing platform,” she states.


“Individuals and organisations will be able to exhibit their offerings at our virtual expo that will take place during the online conference.

“The icing on the cake from this ground-breaking event is that a percentage of the proceeds generated will be utilised for training for supply chain professionals in Africa.”

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