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27. Sep 2018 | Raw materials

Interview: “East Africa is a fairly stable and growing region”

Akzo Nobel has opened a new coatings production facility in Kenya. Located in the capital, Nairobi, the long-term plan is to expand further. We spoke to Baron Schreuder, Africa Business Director for Performance Coatings, about the plans and the African market.

Interview: "East Africa is a fairly stable and growing region”, Image source: Zerophoto - Stock Adobe

You will focus on coil coatings for the building sector. Could you please describe the building sector in the region and its potential?

Baron Schreuder: The building and construction industry in Kenya is one of the main sectors contributing to the economic growth of the country. This is a well-developed industry with quality engineering, building and architectural design services readily available. This industry is currently on an upward trend following re-habilitation and reconstruction of roads and bridges under the Kenya Urban Transport Infrastructure Program. We see the development of this region being an important part of GDP growth in Africa as a whole and hence the need for building and construction related products.

Africa is not the focus spot of the coatings industry, yet. How do you rate the current market for paints and coatings in Africa and particularly in Kenya?

Schreuder: Akzo Nobel operates in the building sector but also places focus on powder coatings, marine and protective coatings, packaging coatings, aerospace coatings and automotive coatings. East Africa is a fairly stable and growing region and Kenya is the hub for this region. By moving from an export-led model to a local supply model, we see opportunities to add value to the local markets through improved lead times and offering technology advantages.

For which regions in Africa and which coatings segments do you expect further growth potential?

Schreuder: We have numerous projects ongoing in various African territories to improve our route-to-market capabilities in Africa.

The interview is part of the Top Industry Move section in the European Coatings Journal. The complete article can be found in the September issue.

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