Sassda Uncovers a Wealth of Opportunity in Kenya and Tanzania

14 June 2018

Against the backdrop of fast industrialisation and a call for the development of stainless steel within the agricultural and food and beverage industries, Tanzania and Kenya are primed for increased bilateral trade with South Africa, with confirmed sourcing enquiries already received at Sassda.

This is according to Sassda Market Intelligence and Export Specialist Lesley Squires following a recent trade visit under the auspices of the dti to identify opportunities for Sassda members seeking to grow their trade base in Kenya and Tanzania.

Green light for Tanzania

Returning from a week long trade visit to the two countries, Squires confirms; “South Africa currently has R6.5-billion in export trade to Tanzania making South Africa one of the country’s top ten investors, with 170 South African companies such as Game, Vodacom, Stanbic, Multichoice, Anglo Gold and Southern Sun already operational in Tanzania.”

With an abundance of natural resources, it’s also the third largest gold producer in Africa, after Ghana and South Africa and its economy is dependent on its agricultural sector which contributes a quarter of its GDP and employs 80% of the work force. Squires reveals;

“Currently, there is a lot of investment in rail and road infrastructure which is sorely needed, but there are still many more opportunities in the sector and the Tanzanian National Development Cooperation is filling the gap in financing critical development projects in the agro, biological, chemical, metallurgicaland power production and a number of enquiries have already been made to Sassda member companies in the sector.”

Kenya’s ‘Big 4’ focus

Kenya looks just as favourable for increased trade agreements with US$ 17.3 billion total exports from South Africa into Kenya occurring in 2017 and a current trade balance which lies in South Africa’s favour in the importation of iron and steel; industrial machinery; alloy steels; cars; and medicines.

“There are no exchange controls in Kenya as they fall under the International Court of Arbitration and President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a priority focus for the next five years for the nation on the country’s “Big 4”, namely affordable housing; food security; increased manufacturing and universal quality healthcare,” says Squires.

Following a meeting with KenInvest MD Moses Ikiara, Squires confirmed the current opportunities in Kenya lie in agro and food and beverage processing in line with food security requirements; conference centres and green manufacturing practices and technologies.

Entrenched and potential exports

While there, the delegation toured both current and potential Sassda member sites, which included members ASL Limited’s Heavy Fabrication Division in Kenya, run by Plant Manager Lakshmi Bokam who oversees their fabrication of dairy equipment and bulk milk coolers; car stackers; balustrades; cold rooms, catering and laundry equipment and steam boilers.

The trade delegation also met with member Desbro Engineering’s proprietor Ashu Sennik, who provides end to end stainless steel solutions for clients across a wide range of processing industries in East Africa, including dairy, food and beverage processing and pharmaceutical equipment.

“Desbro Engineering has been a member of Sassda since February 2015 and visited Sassda and some of our members in Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2016 to look at new equipment and technology. The company operates at the highest levels of productivity to ensure its clients see optimal levels of hygiene and process efficiency. It’s no surprise then that the Desbro plant was in immaculate condition during our visit to the facility!” comments Squires.

While there, Squires also met with Uni Industries East Africa Limited Regional MD Moez Manji and Regional GM Roscoe Bremer who confirmed that as suppliers of kitchen, bakery, refrigeration, laundry, supermarket and hospitality solutions across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Zanzibar, they currently import from Sassda members Scientific Engineering, Macadams and Foodserv.