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16 October 2014

VDMA cement delegation to Angola and Kenya

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Luanda in Angola and Nairobi in Kenya will be visited by a delegation from eight German cement plant engineering sector companies.

Under the umbrella of the VDMA Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery Association, the delegation have invited local building material manufacturers to their two symposia to get to know technical solutions “made in Germany” and discuss local features and individual requirements.   

“With our symposia, we hope to create opportunities for our customers,” said delegation leader Bernhard Pagenkemper, a renowned Africa expert and Head of Sales at Haver & Boecker OHG. “It is worth believing in Africa: every country offers opportunities for our companies to sell something.”

As well as Haver & Boecker, the delegation includes representatives from Aumund, Claudius Peters, Hazemag & EPR, Gebr. Pfeiffer, Christian Pfeiffer, Toni Technik and Thyssen Krupp.

Angola and Kenya are two economies that are enjoying good development. Economic growth means an increase in cement consumption. The construction material industries of both countries have a long way to go to catch up. Until 2013, cement was the most-imported product in Angola by some margin. Cement imports were banned at the start of this year in order to kick-start domestic production. Experts estimate production in the country to be around 5.5 million tonnes/year, while demand is 8.5 million tonnes/year. The government plans to increase capacity to 12 million tonnes/year by 2016, so that the surplus can be exported to other countries in the region.

The VDMA says the political situation in Angola and Kenya is expected to remain stable until the next election in 2017, and infrastructure and construction projects are being financed with profits from the oil business. The sector also sees significant potential in eastern African countries. In Kenya, for example, cement consumption rose by 6.8% in 2013 compared to the previous year, putting it at 4.2million tonnes/year. Here, too, various large-scale projects and increasing private need for building materials is pushing up demand.

For the German mechanical and plant engineering companies, Angola and Kenya provide fertile ground for business. However, as Pagenkemper says, “We want to do more than just help the countries with deliveries; we want to train the people in how to use the machines and to establish proper service.” The Germans hope that this long-term commitment will distinguish them from the Chinese competition, which is ubiquitous in sub-Saharan Africa.  

The symposium in Luanda will be held on November 18; that in Nairobi on November 20. The events are being organised in cooperation with the local German Chambers of Commerce abroad.

The Angola/Kenya initiative is already the sector's seventh joint delegation trip under the VDMA flag, following in the footsteps of events in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Algeria, Libya, Russia, India and Iran.

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