Siemens to invest $254 mln in Africa by 2012

The world famous German company will invest in Africa.  Celebrating 150 years in South Africa, Siemens, a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors today announced its intention to invest 200 million into Africa over the next two years to expand its business and its sales structures on the continent.

Germany’s Siemens AG will invest about 200 million euro in Africa over the next two years, its head said on Friday, as the group looks to boost market share across the continent.

Siemens, which makes turbines and high-speed trains as well as hearing aids and lightbulbs, aims to triple annual order volume in Africa to 3 billion euro by 2012, Chief Executive Peter Loescher said at a news conference in Johannesburg.

He said the company, which has been in South Africa for the last 150 years, would invest about half of money in Southern Africa aims to double its Africa market share to 10 percent by 2012.

Africa is increasingly seen as an investment destination, thanks to abundant resources, massive population and rising personal income.

“Africa offers Siemens vast opportunities for growth,” Loescher said.

Siemens sees big opportunities in renewable energy in the poorest continent as well as healthcare and water projects. The company is also counting on Africa’s rapid urbanisation to spark demand for infrastructure projects.

Speaking at a press conference at Kyalami Race Track, Johannesburg, Siemens

global CEO Peter Löscher said €€100 million would be spent in South Africa.

“Africa offers Siemens vast opportunities for growth. As a green infrastructure pioneer, we’re a natural partner for mastering the continent’s major challenges. Renewable energies, in particular, have a huge potential in Africa,” he said.

Siemens noted that the first large-scale wind and solar projects in Africa would likely be announced later this year after several countries had created the political conditions required.

It said that providing adequate supplies of electricity and water was one of the continent’s greatest challenges with one in two Africans having no connection to a power grid, and a third of the population lacked direct access to clean water.

“We’re world-leaders both in energy technology and on the water market. To exploit our opportunities in these fields, we’re strengthening partnerships with African companies and institutions,” said Löscher.

Siemens said it would also utilize local expertise in the healthcare area.

Due to budgetary constraints, hospitals in African cities are increasingly being built with the help of private-sector financing.

“Siemens intends to participate – as consortium member, for example – in these private-public partnerships, which can easily have volumes of several hundred million euros,” the group said.

To better meet the needs of customers in Africa and to make its sales activities more efficient and effective, Siemens said it had bundled its individual African companies into five sales regions.

In addition, the company has changed the set-up of its business in the African growth market of Angola. There are more than 3,000 employees in Siemens’ Cluster Africa, which includes more than 50 countries.

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