Premier supplier of hoists and lifting equipment, VERLINDE FRANCE, is following the announcement of its latest projects in South Africa with news of further pan-African expansion into the Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. Hot on the heels of supplying crane components as part of the R130 million training centre for Barloworld in Johannesburg, the French giant is now poised to extend its brand into these further new African territories. Verlinde’s point of presence in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya will be orchestrated by Verlinde’s territory representative, East African Chains Ltd.
Despite the recent upsurge in activity, Verlinde is not new to Africa, having supplied cranes to Africa for many years and as many of the South African group of nations begin to develop their infrastructure, Verlinde is well placed to help them grow. "Far from being new to Africa, Verlide has been doing business here for decades," said Simon Rothechild, business development manager for Verlinde. "We have had local representation in South Africa for many years and the time is right to make the next move in our expansion plans. We have a number of well founded relationships in place with local companies and the stage is set for a period of rapid growth."
These relationships include working in partnership with companies like Johannesburg based Akhanani, who has secured another project for Jib and EOT cranes in Zambia, so the African market is clearly on the rise for Akhanani and Verlinde France. This rise is being reflected in forthcoming projects in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, with further details due to be announced in the weeks and months ahead. Tanzina and Uganda have great potential for expansion, while Kenya remains central and east Africa’s biggest economy. Verlinde and East African Chains will be focusing on supporting the emerging oil industry in Uganda as an initial joint project.
The global economic climate has seen many capital expenditure projects put on hold and while Africa is not immune from this, there is a growing recognition among the region’s governments of the need to invest in essential infrastructure, which is creating favourable economic conditions for local people and encouraging further investment into the countries concerned.
"Verlinde has a lot to offer East Africa and we are looking forward to helping these growing economies develop," said Mark Tilbury, Verlinde’s local representative at East African Chain. "Too many economies are currently based on agriculture and industrial development will hopefully deliver better food security for local people and be an important catalyst for economic growth."
In business since 1972, East African Chains Limited (EACL) supply quality engineering products throughout Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and the Sudan and were agents for the respected Morris brand for several years until their buyout by Konecranes and has maintained a close working relationship with Verlinde for many years. While specializing in chains, EACL has diversified into a range of engineering products, making them perfect partners for Verlinde.
Commenting on developments in South Africa, Verlinde France managing director Thomas Descamps said: "Verlinde remains committed to the emerging markets in Africa. Verlinde recognised many years ago that these nations had a big future on the world stage and we are proud to be giving them a lift in achieving their ambitions and future success. Industry and manufacturing in Kenya, for example, still only accounts for 16% of their GDP and we are looking forward to playing our part in improving this number for the benefit of all."