IBEC’s Irish Engineering Enterprises Federation (IEEF) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, launched a major new report, Winning Business in Africa – Building a Cluster for Infrastructure Projects, which identifies over 100 projects worth up to €12 billion in African countries for which Irish companies can bid over the next five years. Irish exports of goods and services to Africa were valued at over €2.7 billion in 2011, with the latest detailed CSO country figures on trade indicating growth of 7% in exports of goods during the first five months of 2012.
The report, which focuses on opportunities in energy and renewable energy, infrastructure, water and mining, is part of the Winning Business in Africa programme, a joint initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and IBEC’s IEEF. The sectors identified by Shuman Associates, the authors of the IEEF Report, reflect the skillsets which Geoscience Ireland seek to provide.
Speaking at the report launch, Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD said: “Africa is a dynamic continent, where growth rates in many countries reached 7% over the last five years. Irish companies are very well placed to meet the exponential growth in demand for goods and services across the continent.
“Winning Business in Africa is strategically focused on key African countries and the four sectors which are critical to economic development. The Irish Embassy network across Africa will support Irish business to follow up on the recommendations of this report. Across Africa, our ambassadors are working closely with the private sector to establish Irish business associations which can support new entrants to the local market. This is very much in keeping with my department’s Africa Strategy, which was launched last year.”
Also speaking at the launch, Gerry Donovan, Chairman of the Irish Engineering Enterprises Federation and BOC Gases said: “Africa is not an easy market and the business potential differs from country to country. In some cases, it will take time and patience to create and build business relationships. A number of Irish companies have experienced considerable success in Africa and we are now encouraging companies to join together in partnerships to bid for these projects.
“Some Irish based companies may find it difficult to enter new markets due to their size and capacity for expansion. A collaborative approach to tendering would help smaller companies in particular enter these new markets.
“Over 50% of the projects and funding in the report are at an early stage of the project cycle: an opportune time for members to incorporate this information into their business development plans, find other companies with which to partner and bid for these projects.”
Among the international donors listed in the report who are funding the infrastructure and engineering projects in Africa are the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Publicly-funded projects are listed for Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.