I warmly welcome all the delegates on the special occasion of the 25th Annual IAOM Mideast & Africa District Conference & Expo on 3-6 December 2014 taking place in Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), South Africa. We are very pleased to welcome IAOM MEA back in Cape Town to celebrate its 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary. The landmark event is expected to attract more than 700 delegates from all over the world and increased number of participants from sub-Saharan Africa.
The legislative capital and economic hub of South Africa, Cape Town, also known as the “Tavern of the Seas” stretches upto 2,455 square kilometers. The city prides itself to be one of the most multiethnic cities in the world. Cape Town hosted some of the world’s grandest events, such as the FIFA World Cup 2010. The cosmopolitan city is also well known for its natural wonders and tourist attractions like the Table Mountain (one of the oldest mountains in the world), Cape Point, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, V&A Waterfront and the Kruger National Park.
Despite its relatively small share of the total GDP, primary agriculture is an important sector in the South African economy and has grown by an average of approximately 11,8% per annum since 1970.
Agriculture has been identified as a sector that can contribute significantly towards the National Objective of addressing the country’s socio-economic challenges. Agriculture remains a significant provider of employment, especially in the rural areas, and a major earner of foreign exchange. The South African Government recognizes agriculture’s role in providing food security as well as addressing, employment and developmental imperatives and isprojecting to create one million new jobs by 2030.
Agriculture’s prominent, indirect role in the economy is a function of backward and forward linkages to other sectors. Purchases of goods such as fertilisers, chemicals and implements form backward linkages with the manufacturing sector, while forward linkages are established through the supply of raw materials to the manufacturing industry. About 70% of agricultural output is used as intermediate products in the sector. Agriculture in South Africa is therefore a crucial sector and an important engine of growth for the rest of the economy.
The South African grain milling industry is predominantly engaged in the milling of white maize and wheat for human consumption. The industry plays a vital role in ensuring a continuous and adequate supply of the country’s staple food, maize meal and bread flour. It works concertedly with other partners in the food chain in contributing meaningfully towards the national objectives of food security, food safety and quality, economic empowerment, training and skills development as well as job creation.
I highly encourage the delegates to take part in pre and post conference tours as the country is home to a rich variety of wildlife preserved in their natural habitat giving the opportunity for one to experience the true beauty of nature.
I look forward to welcoming all of you in Cape Town, South Africa on 3-6 December 2014. Wishing IAOM MEA a successful and vibrant 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary!
National Chamber of Milling