The three days of the PtD Global Indaba convened 250 attendees from over 60 countries to discuss solutions to develop the supply chain workforce


The PtD Global Indaba closed today, on International Women’s Day, in front of over 250 attendees from more than 60 countries.

During the closing ceremony, Kofi Aboagye-Nyame, PtD chair and program director of the USAID/MTaPS programme, reminded the attendees of their mission and purpose: “The work we do is all about people. Let us go out today and take care of our people.”

Dominique Zwinkels, PtD executive manager expressed her delight that the conference had attracted such a diverse collection of speakers, presenters and participants. “We’re particularly pleased to have been able to dedicate funds – generously provided by our sponsors – to bringing supply chain managers from low- and middle-income countries to the Global Indaba.”

In the afternoon the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) led a workshop entitled Just how mature is your supply chain? which centred on assessing the supply chains of attendees’ organisations. Douglas Kent, ASCM vice president revealed the results of the association’s supply chain maturity assessment, which attendees had completed beforehand. A lack of leadership was revealed as a common theme, as was a lack of defined roles and responsibilities in supply chain management positions.   

A call to innovate

The last instalment of the Indaba impulse talks took place on day three.

Dorothy Leab, CEO of GaneshAID posed a number of questions: “In our countries are we ready for innovation? Are governments in the driver’s seat?”

She also shared a few solutions: “We need a culture of change and innovation. We need to lead innovation at country level,” before making an appeal.

“Let’s be advocates. Let’s convince countries that they can be the leaders of their own agenda. Let’s work with donors to build an ecosystem for innovation and most importantly, let’s align.”

Pamela Steele, founder & CEO of Pamela Steele Associates, imagined a future in which supply chain management isn’t just a career but a calling: “Engaging youth isn’t just an option – it will lead to a brighter future. It starts with us.”

She spoke about the Girls on the Move programme, an example of how to prepare young people for a career in supply chain management.

Kevin Etter, consultant with PtD & Gavi, had the final word. “Private sector engagement – what are we so afraid of?” he asked.

“We have to change and be willing to change our perspective. Only with a change of perspective and with energy will be able to imagine new possibilities.”

Co-creating the future

The morning of day three was dominated by small group discussions; participants were given the opportunity to venture deep into some of the topics raised throughout the three days of conference, such as strategies to encourage career progression and how to strengthen supply chains through community health workers. 

This session was facilitated by IAPHL, whose executive director, Timilehin Michael Omole, was pleased to have had the opportunity to convene so many country and organisational representatives.

He said, “It’s such a great opportunity for health supply chain practitioners to let their guards down, go into a little more depth on the topics that really matter to them, have fun and connect. This is what IAPHL is all about – convening, connecting and amplifying.”

Read more about the PtD Global Indaba here and find out more about People that Deliver here.