Coega celebrates Africa Day

BY SUPPLIED - MAY 25, 2015

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) today joins millions of South Africans to commemorate Africa Day, a day celebrated by many African countries, marking the 52nd anniversary of the founding Organization of African Unity (OAU) which later was named the African Union (AU).

“This day seeks to encourage us to celebrate that which is unique to us: being AFRICAN. It reminds us of the many achievements our continent has attained post-colonial era. Equally, it forces us to reflect on the many challenges that still lie ahead,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head marketing and communications.

The CDC has, in its 16 years of existence, played a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country and that of the continent at large. The organisation has consistently positioned Africa as an investment destination ready to do business with foreign and local investors.

The CDC has promoted ideals of good governance and provided a mature and competitive investment environment, noting an upward trajectory in investment attraction and confidence over the past couple of years. Coega has played an integral part in service delivery at local and national government, diversifying its service offering by being an implementing agent for various government departments.

“Our initial strategy on investment promotion focused on the anchor client approach. This we’ve managed to reinvigorate over time and have adopted a multifaceted approach through differentiated sector offering,” said Christopher Mashigo, CDC business development executive manager.

“The introduction of new sectors has seen several investors flocking to the IDZ. Just in the past Financial Year (FY) 2014/15, we’ve managed to sign 19 investors with a combined value of R1.85 billion and in the FY 2013/14 we achieved a first in the continent by signing 10 new investors with a combined value of R1.8 billion,” added Mashigo.

The Coega IDZ has remained the gateway to Africa, with linkages to the rest of the continent. CDC’s offering of world-class infrastructure and purpose-built manufacturing has contributed immensely to the African economy.

Just recently – 6 May 2015 - First Automotive Works (FAW) Chief Executive Yusheng Zhang was reported saying, ”FAW’s existing plant at the Coega has allowed the company access to southern Africa, which had been a challenge before”.

The CDC is conscious of its existence in the context of a developing continent. It continues to carve its way by actively participating and influencing a new narrative - that Africa is not a dark continent, but rather one pregnant with possibilities. The CDC understands the world through global eyes as well as the soul of Africa and has long come to the realisation that everyone in this continent has a role to play in the post-colonial era.   

The organisation’s contribution to skills development and training has seen it having trained over 71 445 people since inception and contributed 96 776 direct jobs to the South African economy since inception.

“As an organisation we had long decided that where unity is the foundation for a collective approach, we will partake in contributing towards the embetterment of all Africans,” added Dr Vilakazi.