Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue

THURSDAY 26th and FRIDAY 27th NOVEMBER, 2020
The Capital on the Park, Johannesburg and Digital participation



    (Rome time in Blue)
    (Johannesburg time in Orange)

  • 08:00 – 08:30
    09:00 – 09:30

    Registration, The Capital on the Park, Johannesburg

  • 08:30 – 09:10
    09:30 – 10:10


    Chair: Lynette Ntuli (CEO, Innate Solutions)

    Maurizio Mariano (Special Advisor in South Africa, The European House – Ambrosetti)
    Valerio De Molli (Managing Partner & CEO, The European House – Ambrosetti)
    David Makhura (Premier, Gauteng)

  • A message of greetings from the Italian business community
    Barbara Beltrame (Vice President for Internationalization, General Confederation of Italian Industry – Confindustria)

  • 09:10 – 09:30
    10:10 – 10:30


    Speech by:
    Emanuela Del Re (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy)
    Trudi Makhaya (Economic Advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa)

  • 9:30 –10:45
    10:30 – 11:45


    Session brief

    In the last decades, we all have become accustomed to uncertainty and fast-paced changes: global financial and sovereign debt crisis, climate change, trade wars, the profound technological transformations of the digital economy, artificial intelligence, IoT, 4.0 technologies and all the great social changes and shifts in the global balance power that followed along. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to a new level, where in a matter of days entire nations can shut down borders, public offices, private doors and find themselves in tackling the difficulties of guaranteeing healthcare coverage to every citizen. To navigate the complexity of the present and to trace the course for a and sustainable future, we will try to set a course to leave the virus crisis behind, discussing how to ensure a fast V-shaped recovery and how Europe and Africa should cooperate in several areas and domains. Among others, promoting adequate financial tools to stimulate the recovery, address inequalities and foster healthcare resilience to face present and future emergencies.

  • Setting the scene on covid-19

    Video message by:
    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General, World Health Organization)

    Speech by:
    Matshidiso Moeti (Regional Director for Africa, World Health Organization)

    Round table:
    Stavros Nicolaou (Group’s Senior Executive responsible for Strategic Trade Development, Aspen Pharmacare)
    Barbara Marchitto (Head of Country and Financial Sector Analysis, European Investment Bank)
    Adam Habib (Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of the Witwatersrand)
    Elly Schlein (Vice Governor, Regione Emilia-Romagna)
    Stefano Manservisi (Special Advisor to EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni; Distinguished Fellow, Center for Global Development)


  • 10:45 – 11:15
    11:45 – 12:15

    Coffee break

  • 11:15 – 12:30
    12:15 – 13:30


    Session brief

    As in the rest of the world, the Southern African business environment will be deeply affected by the Covid-19 crisis developments, which will require enterprises and public institutions to develop new normal strategies to ensure economic growth and job creation. The session will gather prominent CEOs operating in and with Africa, to discuss how the crisis has changed the economic environment in the region, and how this forces companies and individuals to develop new sets of skills and mindsets to navigate an ever-more complex business environment. This dialogue will also serve as platform to present CEOs’ key recommendations to Governments on how to improve economic attractiveness in the region, and to present the Global Attractiveness Index Africa, the first economic attractiveness index specifically developed for African countries and a major tool to guide investment decisions in the region.

    Introductory remarks:
    Morakane Mosupyoe (Member of the Executive Council: Economic Development, Gauteng)

    Round table:
    Mosa Tshabalala (CEO, Gauteng Growth Development Agency)
    Vikas Khandelwal (CEO, BNP Paribas, South Africa)
    Cédric Sennepin (CEO, Leroy Merlin, South Africa)
    Federico Bellotto (CEO, New Holland AG, Southern Africa)


    “Assessing the potential for Italian exports and investments”
    The European House – Ambrosetti Global Attractiveness Index Africa
    Carlo Ferro (President, Italian Trade Agency)

  • 12:30 – 14:00
    13:30 – 15:00


  • 14:00 – 15:15
    15:00 – 16:15


    Session brief

    For Africa to unleash its true social and economic potential, it has to become a more united market where people, goods, and capital can easily flow across borders. With the African Continental Free Trade Area, African Governments are taking meaningful steps forward, gradually lifting the barriers that made Africa, up until today, too fragmented to develop a critical mass to kickstart industrial and human development. However, policy integration has to go along improved physical and digital connectivity. An interconnected and multimodal transport system in Africa, and particularly in Southern Africa, is essential to develop transnational value chains in key sectors, as well as to allow international investments to create jobs in the region. But perhaps even more importantly, if Africa work towards the universalization of digital connectivity, it will be capable of unleashing the true potential of development, leapfrogging to new 5g technologies and all the relevant industrial applications.

    Towards an integrated economic continent
    Wamkele Mene (Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area)
    Jacob Mamabolo (Member of the Executive Council: Public Transport and Road Infrastructure, Gauteng)

    Round table:
    Markus Thill (President Region Africa, Bosch)
    Shameel Joosub (CEO, Vodacom)
    Carlo Bajetti (Group Delegate for South Africa Operations, Lucchini RS)
    Tony Stenning (Managing Director East and Southern Africa, Bolloré Transport and Logistics)


    Key note speech:
    Fikile Mbalula (Minister of Transport, South Africa)

  • 15:15 – 16:30
    16:15 – 17:30


    Session brief

    A successful and effective energy transition requires not only a change in the energy consumption and power production patterns, shifting away from fossil fuels towards renewables, but also a different approach in the management of infrastructure and their technological set-up. Indeed, a grid highly reliant on renewables is an ever shifting and interacting one, mostly because of intermittent renewables output and role of “prosumers” in the grid, requiring more information and data to be operated than “static” systems of the past. To allow an optimal management of an ever more complex grid, the transmission and distribution infrastructure could be enriched by multiple sensors and datapoints to allow the system operator to make better predictions on the grid performance. But together with the increasing complexity of managing an ever more digital grid, come also the opportunities of leveraging the power network to improve access to high-speed connections and reduce the digital divide: it’s the internet of electricity. This is true also for the gas distribution network, an asset that could be leveraged to smoothen the energy transition by mixing natural gas with hydrogen. What are the new technological developments related to renewables? What other opportunities does the energy transition creates in leveraging existing physical assets?

    Key note speech:
    Barbara Creecy (Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environment, South Africa)

    Round Table:
    Giovanni Cerchiarini (CEO, Terna Plus)
    Thabo Molekoa (CEO, Siemens Energy)
    Lamberto Dai Pra’ (Head of Africa, Asia and Oceania, Enel Green Power)
    Valerio Faccenda (Head of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, Iberdrola)


  • 16:30 – 17:15
    17:30 – 18:15


    Strenghtening National and Sub-National Cooperation to boost Economic Development in Southern Africa
    Stefano Bonaccini (President, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy)
    David Makhura (Premier, Gauteng Province)
    Manlio Di Stefano (Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Italy)

    Closing remarks
    Paolo Cuculi (Ambassador of Italy to South Africa)
    Raul De Luzenberger (Chargé d’Affaires, EU Delegation to South Africa)
    Paolo Borzatta (Member of the Board, The European House – Ambrosetti)


    (Rome time in Blue)
    (Johannesburg time in Orange)

  • 08:30 – 09:45
    09:30 – 10:45


    How to foster innovation and job creation through small-sized enterprises in the post pandemic economic scenario


    Small operators are disproportionately affected the Covid-19 economic crisis and by the lockdown, because of their vulnerability to cash flow volatility and fluctuations in demand. However, SMMEs’ are key contributors to prosperity and innovation, as a vibrant SMME ecosystem allows all the entrepreneurial energies of a society to break out. Furthermore, vibrant SMMEs clusters not only increase inclusivity and equality, but they also increase competitiveness of localization of production strategies, becoming a key pillar of a country capacity to intercept global FDI flows. Therefore, the post pandemic recovery strategy cannot overlook SMMEs and their transformational potential, but on the contrary has to foster the creation of SMMEs’ clusters in strategic sectors. Both South Africa and Italy display a great potential in the development of SMEs: how can the two countries learn from each other experience for implementing effective SMMEs development strategies?


    The digital roundtable will gather representatives of SMMEs association and other relevant decision makers to address the main issues small operators are facing in the current volatile and uncertain scenario, devising concrete opportunity for business cooperation and policy circulation between South African and Italian players. The event is part of the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue 2020, the referent event for the engagement of the Southern African and European business communities.

    Moderation & welcome remarks
    Muziwethu Mathema (Group Executive, Macro Business Intelligence, GGDA)

    Key note speech
    Morakane Mosupyoe (Member of the Executive Council: Economic Development, Gauteng)

    Ernest Mahlaule (Chairperson, GGDA)
    Filippo Di Gregorio (Director General, Union of Industrialists and Companies Reggio Emilia, Unindustria)
    David McGluwa (Head of Small Business Finance and Regions, Industrial Development Corporation)
    Donovan van Heerden (CEO, Moabi Industries)

    Showcase Garage MOU AIDC -Reggio Emilia
    Lance Schultz (CEO, Gauteng Automotive Industry Development Center)


  • 10:00 – 11:15
    11:00 – 12:15


    The State of the cooperation between Italy and South Africa to develop skills in the manufacturing industry and new frontier technologies

    The webinar is organized in cooperation with Emilia-Romagna Region


    In the last years, cooperation between Italy and South Africa in the skills and education field has experienced major steps forward, as process in which the Roundtable “Higher Education and University Cooperation Between Europe”, organized last year within the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue was an important milestone. After discussing last year how to improve university level cooperation, this year we will focus our attention on how to boost skills and competences in the manufacturing sector in general and in the automotive industry in particular, as a sector for both the Italian and South African industry. The Roundtable will discuss how Italy and South Africa can further cooperate in the sector and an important occasion to take stock of current projects. Furthermore, in the roundtable we will try to look at new frontier technologies and how Italy and South Africa could cooperate in this fields. The focus of our attention will be the recent dialogue between prominent Italian and South African institutions regarding Big Data and advanced computing, two strategic sectors that can enable improve competitiveness for the whole economy.


    The digital roundtable will gather actors in the educational cooperation between Italy (most notably Emilia Romagna Region) and South Africa, to assess the current state of cooperation projects activated in the past and to devise new concrete opportunity for skills cooperation. The event is part of the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue 2020, which plenary sessions will be held the day before (November 26th).

    Moderation & welcome remarks
    Lorenzo Fioramonti (Full Professor of Political Economy, University of Pretoria; Italian Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education, University and Research, Italy)

    Key note speech
    Panyaza Lesufi (Member of the Executive Council: Education, Gauteng)

    Alessandro Capra (Professor, Engineering Department “Enzo Ferrari”, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
    Jasper Steyn (Manager, Government Incentive Schemes, AIDC)
    Francesco Petruccione (Director, National Institute for Theoretical and Computational Sciences, South Africa)
    Patrizio Bianchi (Scientific Director, International Foundation Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Human Development)


    Closing remarks
    Daan Du Toit (Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation and Resources, South African DST)

  • 11:30 – 12:45
    12:30 – 13:45


    The South African and Italian packaging industry between challenges and opportunities

    The webinar is organized in cooperation with Unioncamere and Italcham


    Packaging is a high-tech and highly transformative industry which is experiencing all the major disruptions of the present era, from the flexibility and speed required by the e-commerce growth and 4.0 technologies, to the challenges of safety in the battle against the virus. As a major contributor to the demand of plastics, packaging is also a key industry to build carbon neutral societies to achieve the international climate goals. However, a dynamic and competitive packaging industry is also an enabler of international growth and expansion, especially relevant for SMEs as it allows goods to arrive safely and efficiently and maximize profit margins.

    In South Africa, the packaging industry is an advanced sector and rece ptive to innovation, with few large national and transnational companies engaged in the production of materials and packaging. On the other hand, Italy is a technological and market leader in the packaging machine industry, with a consolidated expertise in strategic sector for the development of South Africa – food and pharmaceuticals in particular.


    The digital roundtable will gather major industry players to address the main issue the industry is facing in the current volatile and uncertain scenario, devising concrete opportunity for business cooperation between South African and Italian players. The event is organized in partnership between The European House – Ambrosetti, the Italian South African Chamber of Commerce, and Unioncamere, and it is part of the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue 2020.

    Moderation & welcome remarks
    Guido Ghiselli (Vice Chairperson, Italian South African Chamber of Trade and Commerce; Director, Mega Pack Engineering)

    Shabeer Jhetam (Executive Director – Packaging SA)
    Kishan Singh (World Packaging Organization Ambassador; CEO, METPAC SA)
    Riccardo Cavanna (CEO, Cavanna Spa; Vice Chairman, Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Association – UCIMA)
    David Drew (Head of Sustainability – SEABU, The Coca-Cola Company)


  • 13:00 – 14:15
    14:00 – 15:15


    Devising new strategies to keep cultural and tourism exchanges alive during the pandemic


    The tourism industry is one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy by the Covid-19 economic crisis. With revenues falling by as much as 50% in 2020, tourism operators are facing an unprecedented challenge to devise new disease-proof models until the pandemic storm will be over. For both Italy and South Africa tourism is a major source of revenue and employment, contributing respectively to 13% and 8,6% of the two countries GDP. How can operators survive in the new normal and what policy makers can do to keep the sector in shape?


    The digital roundtable will gather representatives of the tourism industry from Europe and Africa, to address the main issues small operators are facing in the current volatile and uncertain scenario. The objective will be to devise concrete proposals and strategies for business and policy makers to make the industry thrive once again. The event is part of the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue 2020, the referent event for the engagement of the Southern African and European business communities.

    Moderation & welcome remarks
    Nomvuselelo Songelwa (CEO, Jurni)

    Maria Elena Rossi (Marketing & Promotion Director, Italian National Agency on Tourism – ENIT)
    Ross Volk (CEO, MSC Cruises South Africa)
    Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa (CEO, Tourism Business Council)
    Dawn Robertson (CEO, Conhill)
    Sisa Ntshona (CEO, South African Tourism)


Speakers PLENARY SESSIONS - November 26th


Speakers DIGITAL ROUNDTABLES - November 27th


The Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue is a high-level networking and debate among key decision makers from the two regions. The seventh edition of the Dialogue will take place after the major disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and, accordingly, will be organized both physically – in Johannesburg –  and digitally to allow the broader – and safer – participation.
Despite all the suffering, the Covid-19 pandemic provides a painful, yet powerful window of opportunity to accelerate the future towards a more sustainable and inclusive world, built on fair and mutually beneficial economic and political partnerships.
To accelerate the post-pandemic recovery, Southern Africa and Europe need to deepen their partnership, building high level relations between key decision makers from the two continents.
The seventh edition of the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue will take place over the course of two days, with plenary sessions on November 26, 2020 and vertical roundtables on November 27, 2020.
Participation in the plenary sessions will be possible physically in Johannesburg, or via an interactive digital business networking platform.

The say about us
“The South Africa Italy Summit has become the main event for the Italian and South African entrepreneurial leadership to strengthen bilateral economic relations. Building upon this bilateral framework, the Summit has evolved into a pan-European and pan-African platform to create strategic business partnerships at the highest level” – CNBC Africa