Objective North Africa, a Market Worth More than 30 Billion Euros

The development policies adopted by governments in the area envisage massive investments in infrastructures and tourism. The construction of more than 1 million homes is scheduled.
North Africa is a market experiencing net growth and the development policies adopted by governments in the area envisage major investments in infrastructures – roads, railways – and tourism, not only with villages and hotels but also new ports and airports. Construction is envisaged of more than 1 million homes, business activities, prisons, schools and much more. All this creates enormous opportunities for Italian construction companies. (Source: ICE Algiers)
How highlighted by Cresme research presented at the last Construction Day, in 2008 the construction market in Africa as a whole was worth about 167 billion euros; in the same year, the Italian market came to around 180. In the area of French-speaking countries – Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – the 2008 figure was 30.5 billions. The most recent analysis indicates growth of 4.9% in 2009 and 2010: distinctly against the trend world-wide.
Algeria alone has invested 145 billion dollars over the last three years in infrastructures and a growing number of Italian companies is present on the market (now more than 450). The Government in Algiers recently approved a plan that will be implemented between 2010 and 2014 for the construction of popular homes, schools, hospitals, roads and railways involving an investment of 286 billion dollars. The list of projects indicated by the Government envisages the construction of schools, health facilities, ‘popular’ homes, the extension and modernisation of the road and railway network in the country, ports and airports and major efforts to upgrade the water distribution and procurement network.
These projects are envisaged: construction or modernisation of 5 thousand schools and 1 million university rooms, the construction of 1,500 health facilities, 2 million new homes, 80 stadiums and 400 swimming pools. 220,000 new connections to the natural gas network, especially in rural areas of the country. 35 new dams, 25 large pipelines, 34 new water depuration stations, 8 new desalination plant. 2 new urban arteries (Rocades) in Algiers, an interior motorway (Autoroute des Hauts Plateaux) parallel to the East-West motorway, of about 1,200 km, a further 830 km of motorway connections, as well as 3,000 km of new roads, modernisation and renovation work on another 8,000 km of roads.
Production of 20 new fishing ports, re-qualification of 25 commercial ports and container terminals, extension of the country’s 4 main ports. Modernisation and restructuring of 10 airports. (Source: Newsmercati.com)
In Morocco, the development of several important infrastructural projects is well underway: construction of ports and airports, railways, roads and motorways for a state investment estimated at €10 billion.
The construction of roads and motorways will see ADM (Autoroutes du Maroc) set aside €3 billion by 2015 to ensure by that date the construction of 1,500 Km of new sections of road.
The railway sector, managed by ONCF (Office National des Chemins de Fer), has envisaged for its coming business plan (2009-2013) about €3 billion, a large portion of which will go to the construction of the Kénitra-Tangiers high-speed section. Moreover, an investment of €1.8 million is envisaged for the development the tram system in Casablanca, Rabat-Salè and the RER line between Mohammedia and Nouacer. A further sum of €320 millions is envisaged for the airports serving Fés, Rabat and Oujda (ONDA, Office National des Aéroports).
This rapid development in the construction of homes and urban re-qualification creates enormous potential in the sector, where Italy can play a major role. Italian technology is held in very high regard and products have a good quality/price ratio. Bearing in mind the numerous projects to be completed 2010-2012, the sectors where Italy could well improve its penetration are property with new materials and the hotel field. The latter segment enjoys a cardinal role in the economic development of Morocco, given the need to meet growing demand for homes, offices and tourism facilities, as well as to develop and enhance infrastructures. The constant development of the building sector in recent years should inasmuch maintain the same rhythm for the next decade.
(Source: Joint Country Reports by Embassies / International ICE Offices – 2nd half-year 2009)
Libya has also seen authorities in Tripoli launch a huge infrastructural development programme (funded to a great extent by petroleum income accumulated in recent years) that is by now vital for a country recently re-opening its doors to international markets and called upon to tackle the challenges of a globalised and extremely dynamic economy. On the other hand, the recent normalisation of diplomatic relationships between Libya and the European Union continues to arouse growing interest among international investors, that is further stimulated by the encouraging economic performance. (Source: ICE Tripoli)
North Africa is a promising market, yet much is still to be done for alignment with European standards. Labour is one of the discussion themes and training programs have also already been launched in these countries for the construction sector. The way ahead is long since trainers themselves have to be trained. Yet in the future it may be possible for Italian companies to operate in Morocco or Tunisia, for example, and rely on already qualified local labour aware of the safety and quality standards of Italian companies.
Source: Press Room Samoter – Verona, 22/9/2010