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Markets: Construction south of the Sahara Desert

Update (August 2010) East African states have taken steps for a Common market.

(July 2010) „Upswing for Africa“ was the Centre National de Recherches (CNRS), the French National Research Intuition’s, caption for the March edition of its journal. The occasion was the FIFA World Cup and the report’s tenor was that the southern continent, what with its near billion population, deserves a second look.

Is there a market for the stone branch or will there be one there soon?

The answer is clear: there are presently many large construction projects, however only a marginal sector of the very well-to-do are interested in costly construction material.

In general most countries can look back on a favourable balance (see table below). A study completed by Columbia University even states that poverty is significantly on the decline.

The backdrop for this positive economic trend south of the Sahara Desert is a reflection of China’s massive purchasing offensive of raw material. This brings money into the economic flow and at the same time forces improvement of infrastructure.

Nigeria, one of the big oil producing countries is experiencing a hitherto unseen building boom. More than 3 billion $ are earmarked for such projects as building a new international airport and a new building to house the country’s National Assembly. But private housing for the upper crust is also enjoying the fiscal explosion.

A similar picture is unfolding in Angola, another strong oil producing nation. Here, too, programs are under way for modernizing the airport and transport ways. The Capital, Luanda, is a massive building site according to reports.

Among the other countries enjoying a building boom are Kenya and Zambia.

In the long term the building boom is predicted to reflect positively on the entire infrastructure of these Nation as can be deduced from the World Bank’s World Development Report 2009: The recommendation: construct city centres which will then have a positive effect on the surrounding areas.

There are also efforts to set up a stone industry in some of these countries. In our March Miscellaneous column we reported on a cooperation of a French Trade organization with the industry in Benin.

Namibia is not the only country where quality natural stone such as the famous black marble Nero Marquina can be found. Zimbabwe is home to the gabbros Nero Assoluto and Impala often mistaken for granite. But South Africa, Tanzania, and Angola also boast spectacular stone.

And: the West Coast of the African Continent, which fits like a hand in a glove to the juxtaposed East Coast of South America is home to unusual granite sorts hitherto produced only in Brazil. Both landmasses were one in the southern precursor super continent Gondwana.

Study of the Columbia-University

World Development Report 2009

New trade fair StoneEx Africa, Rep. South Africa

Trade fair Buildint Kenya

Stone football field

One would assume that demand might have soared for green stone, as green is the colour of grass, which, together with the white marble inlay, creates a football field.

Plastic mats in football field décor are all the trend. A more pricey variety in stone could be conceivable for the well-to-do aficionados.

What other branches have produced in the way of football paraphernalia can be researched under „football fan“ or „football-accessories“ on the internet. National colours e.g. are very widely implemented.

By the way: some companies use the FIFA World Cup for their PR by inviting clients to a football party. Provided the event does not mutate to an entirely public happening, FIFA is unconcerned.