The annual event Smarter Mobility Africa summit (SMA summit) will run its 5th edition of hosting key mobility stakeholders and experts in the Gauteng Province, South Africa at the Gallagher Convention Centre on 3-4 October 2023.
Recently the Smarter Mobility Africa summit Advisory Board came together for the day to understand what trends are driving the mobility sector in Africa.
The SMA summit Advisory Board is comprised of a diverse and experienced group of mobility experts who are dedicated to shaping and enhancing mobility in Africa. This group of industry leaders convene and communicate throughout the year to brainstorm on challenges and opportunities, on new ideas and initiatives to strategise on how to integrate and make mobility smarter across Africa.
According to Joseph Mashele, Co-Chair of United Nations Pollution and Energy Working Party (GRPE), SMA summit comes at an opportune time for standardising regulation and policy across the continent. “Sitting in the global platform for harmonisation of regulations for mobility (United Nations Working Party on Pollution and Energy) will bring international trends, innovation and know-how,” Joseph Mashele shared with the Advisory Board.
This year’s Smarter Mobility Africa summit Advisory Board Members are as follows:
- Craig Parker, Director, Frost & Sullivan
- Prof. Marianne Vanderschuren, Professor, University of Cape Town
- Molatelo Rapetsoa, Board Member, Transport Authority Gauteng
- Prian Reddy, Senior Analyst: Sustainable Mobility and Energy Storage, GreenCape
- Nangamso Matebese, Principal Project and Infrastructure Finance Professional, Development Bank of Southern Africa
- John R. Msingo, Chief Revenue Officer, EVChaja
- Victor Radebe, Chairman of the Board of Advisors, Smarter Mobility Africa summit & Co-Founder of Mobility Centre for Africa
- Joseph Mashele, Co-Chair, United Nations Pollution and Energy Working Party (GRPE)
- Gad Ashiagbor, Lead Moderator, AfricaNEV
- Vuyisile Majola, Director, Mobility Centre for Africa
This year attendees will gather under the umbrella theme “Realising Vision 2030 through smarter mobility” – ensuring Africa is moving towards achieving its 2030 visions. The program will take place 3-4 October. Under this umbrella theme are 4 Focused Stages which which dive deeper into Electric Vehicles & Battery Technology, Public Transport, Micromobility, and Mobility as a Service. In addition, a very important co-located event will take place called “Smarter Fleet Summit”, this will focus on the transition of fleets from internal combustion engines to new energy vehicles.
🏙By 2050, nearly 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, increasing the pressure on urban transport systems and #infrastructure. Discover the trends shaping urban #mobility and how forward-thinking cities are addressing unique challenges➡https://t.co/yVU6sCIAfx pic.twitter.com/XOKWDxuqB5— McKinsey & Company (@McKinsey) May 19, 2023
The Advisory Board themselves have express how excited they are for this year’s SMA summit, this is what they had to say:
“The opportunity to network with industry thought leaders and innovators who are driving the EV transition in South Africa,” said Prian Reddy.
“Learning from our African counterparts,” said Vuyisile Majola.
“Recovering from Covid-19 with bang,” said Victor Radebe.
As the Advisory Board meeting commenced, the discussion evolved into an interesting debate. One main outcome that was highlighted in the overall discussion is that smarter mobility plays a crucial role in transforming transport systems, development of the economy and environmental benefits across Africa. Here are 5 key trends to note down which your organisations should be thinking about, and which will certainly be encapsulated in this year’s program.
Optimising urban mobility through ride-hailing
The disruptors of traditional transport have been shared mobility and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Bolt. These platforms provide convenient, affordable, and on-demand transportation options. An increased uptake on mobility as a service could influence the way people travel and reduce dependence on private vehicle use which will reduce traffic congestion.
Electric Mobility takes off in a BIG way in Africa
There is a growing interest in e-mobility as an alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Particularly the e-bike and e-motorcycle adoption rate in Kenya has shot through the roof. For Africa to truly experience the true potential of a just transition to electric mobility it needs to take control over its resources to foster its own agenda.
“I would like to see if South Africa will wake up to the opportunity that is E-mobility on the continent,” said John Msingo.
Increasing intelligent systems for public transport
Many countries are starting to deploy smart public transport systems to improve the efficiency and passenger experience. Data and technology will allow the integration of public transport systems ensuring seamless mobility with a single-ticketing system for efficient transport.
Micromobility demonstrates huge potential for last-mile logistics
E-scooters and bike sharing programs are gaining traction in African cities. This is due to the increased demand for last mile logistic for delivery companies in congested urban areas where traditional transport methods may be a challenge and not practical for the infrastructure of the city. There is also a huge potential in reducing costs and providing faster and more efficient mobility, improving the overall delivery service.
“We hope for a thriving and prosperous Africa. We aim to remove barriers to jobs and investment to accelerate EV uptake on the continent,” said Prian Reddy.
Mobility Apps and digital platforms save the day
Real-time data provides convenience to the commuter because they provide transparent information such as the ability to map out your route of travel, access a schedule to plan your trip, knowing how much the overall fare price will be for various modes of transport and the potential of cashless payments. The challenge identified is to improve the commuter’s experience by perfecting the technology whilst the opportunity is connecting commuters to efficient mobility options.
There you have it, 5 key trends that came out of the latest Smarter Mobility Africa summit Advisory Board meeting. Let’s build an integrated smarter mobility Africa together, to address challenges such as traffic congestion, pollution, safety, and limited access to transportation. The trends highlighted in this article demonstrate the continent’s progress towards sustainable and efficient mobility systems. By embracing these trends, African countries can pave the way for a future where mobility is clean, accessible, safe, and affordable. As these trends continue to evolve, Africa’s mobility landscape will undergo further positive transformations, contributing to economic growth, improved quality of life, and a sustainable future.
Smarter Mobility Africa summit will take place from the 3-4 October at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand.
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