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‘Impactful’ GeoAfrica4 Puts Sustainability Center Stage

Nearly 400 delegates from around the world gathered in Cairo to discover more about the current projects and future potential of geosynthetics in Africa.

The 4th African Regional Conference on Geosynthetics (4th GeoAfrica) welcomed visitors from around the world including Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Libya, Europe, Russia, Australia, Canada and the USA, keen to learn more about ‘Geosynthetics in sustainable infrastructures and mega projects’.

Seven eminent speakers explored the conference’s theme through lectures, including J.P. Giroud, Richard Bathurst, Jorge Zornberg, Chungsik Yoo, Daniele Cazzuffi, Malek Bouazza and the inaugural Kelvin Legge Lecture given by Peter Legg.

The IGS’s Technical Committees hosted workshops, and site visits offered delegates unique insights into the positive impact of geosynthetics in the area, including the Ain Sokhna power plant, the New Administrative Capital urban community and an electric high-speed rail line.

Mohamed Salah Morsy, secretary general of GeoAfrica4’s organizing committee, said: “We had wonderful feedback from visitors, with great interaction between them and the speakers and exhibitors. Comments included, ‘I really did enjoy the conference and the Egyptian hospitality. Thank you very much,’ and, ‘It was a good conference and a pleasure to attend, thank you for all your hard work.’

“IGS Young Members also had plenty to do, including a Nile cruise dinner, a Young Member session, and a geosynthetics quiz. In all we had 380 delegates, with those from Egypt being professors, consultants, postgraduate students, and engineers from both the private and public sectors.

“All the keynote lectures had a significant impact on attendees and the workshops organized by the IGS Technical Committees were praised by many delegates. A lot of young engineers and researchers were amazed by the extensive applications of geosynthetics.”

He continued: “GeoAfrica4 has definitely increased awareness about the importance of geosynthetics in Egypt. I have had plenty of messages from people asking for the conference proceedings and when IGS Egypt will be holding other events, so interest is very strong.”

The next GeoAfrica conference will be hosted by IGS South Africa in Gauteng in 2027. Dr Morsy’s advice to his counterparts is: “Start preparations early as organizing the conference takes much effort and time! In addition, I advise organizers to invite all the IGS’s Africa chapters to participate, and perhaps assign a session on geosynthetics applications in mega projects in Africa.”

He added: “Our organizing committee is looking to host more events in the future to continue increasing awareness about geosynthetics applications in Egypt and Africa so watch this space or visit our chapter website.”

Hosted by IGS Egypt, GeoAfrica4 took place on February 20-23, at the Cairo Marriott Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.

Keep up-to-date with IGS Egypt’s events, announcements and activities by visiting its website here.