Automechanika Dubai, touted as the Middle East’s largest international trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket, and which was held at Dubai World Trade Centre during 22–24 November, saw focus shifting on the last day toward the African market with AfriConnections, a dedicated conference stream and networking area aimed at uniting businesses and dealers from Africa, according to a press release dated 24 November.
According to a recent report commissioned for Automechanika Dubai, Africa’s rising population is a key growth driver, with the continent expected to be home to 2.4 billion by 2050. Africa’s working-age population, a key economic growth enabler, is expected to increase exponentially and, by 2050, will outstrip that of China and be three times that of the European Union, the release added.
The report also predicts Africa’s current vehicle fleet of around 50 million units will grow substantially over the next decade, with the vehicle parc in key markets more than doubling until 2040 when the majority of the growth continues to come from imported vehicles.
Significance: Speaking at the opening session of AfriConnections at Automechanika Academy, Erik Deitersen, director at AfriCon, discussed what future opportunities look like in a changing African automotive aftermarket. “Africa is huge and diverse, which is in itself an opportunity. The continent has plenty of urban areas with more than a million habitants and with growth in population comes growth in manufacturing. IMF figures show that Africa is set to overtake Asia, the growth engine of the world, by 2027. We have already seen a 2.8% of growth in income from the year 2000, whereas growth in the aftermarket has seen a 9% improvement in automotive parts, 3% in heavy vehicles, and 8% in light vehicles over the same period,” said Deitersen.
The 19th edition of the trade show hosted 1,145 exhibitors from 53 countries, indicating a 98% increase from last year’s edition. Automechanika Dubai will return to the Dubai World Trade Centre from 15 to 17 November 2023.