Focus turns to Africa projects

22 December 2020
Value of contracts awarded on the continent hit a record high of just under $140bn in 2019 thanks to strong economic growth

MEED Projects, the leading projects tracking platform, has announced its extension of coverage into Sub-Saharan Africa. The online subscription service now fully covers more than 7,000 projects across all 54 countries in Africa, making it by far the world’s largest database of infrastructure developments on the continent.

This expansion was driven by increasing demand from subscribers seeking new project opportunities in developing economies outside their traditional markets in the GCC and wider Middle East.

Expanding market 

“The Africa projects market has grown from strength to strength, more than doubling from $48bn of awards in 2011 to $137bn last year,” says Ed James, MEED Projects’ director of content and analysis. 

With declining project activity levels in the GCC due to the impact of Covid-19 and lower oil prices, interest in the African continent has particularly accelerated this year. “In the wake of this sharp fall in contract awards in the region, many contractors, consultants and suppliers have no choice but to look further afield for new opportunities, and Africa represents the obvious market for them,” says James.

Propelled by booming economies and fast- growing populations, Africa’s projects market is increasingly attracting international firms
Ed James, MEED Projects

Nigeria market

At just over $120bn Nigeria is the largest projects market in Sub-Saharan Africa by value of projects awarded in the past 10 years. Africa’s most populous country is also its largest hydrocarbons producer, with oil exports helping to fund investments in infrastructure such as the under-construction $11bn Lagos to Calabar railway line.

Mozambique, Ethiopia and Kenya are the next three biggest markets, with each signing between $21bn and $29bn of work in the past decade. Their notable active projects include the estimated $20bn programme to build Mozambique’s first liquefied natural gas project and the $5bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is currently making headlines due its geopolitical and economic impact.

Projects pipeline

Construction is the largest single sector with more than $246bn of deals let since 2011, comprising about 26 per cent of all projects over the period. Transport schemes such as roads, airports and railways have seen $234bn of contracts, closely followed by power projects at $209bn. The gas, oil and industrial sectors have also constituted a large proportion of spending. 

Going forward, there is a pipeline of more than $1.7tn of future projects. Nigeria is again the largest future market with at least $422bn of planned and unawarded projects, followed by Egypt at just under $215bn, South Africa at $186bn and then Tanzania at $122bn. 

Find out more here

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