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DHL renews focus on Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – International logistics handler DHL says it has renewed its focus on Africa which will hopefully ease the movement of goods within and out of the continent as well as boost trade within regional economies.

Africa and South Asia Pacific CEO Amadou Diallo said the company was aiming to help expand trade in core sectors such as oil and energy, through simplified supply chains that will drive growth in the region.

“Our global forwarding business, into Africa has grown five times, in five years. Our strategy now is to grow our business, which means we shall be setting up infrastructure and training people because we have a good presence across all the markets. We have good knowledge about the products that we provide. So, we do not need to acquire specific business in order for us to cover the different markets. We just need more people and extra resources and training,” Mr Diallo said.

He added it had embarked on internal exchange programmes that will hopefully add to the country’s economy.

Mr Diallo revealed that DHL will soon roll out a new road freight solution in Africa connected by three main hubs in East, West and Southern Africa serving respective regions and helping link inter-regional movement of goods.

Dubbed Africa Connect, the service will be offered from Mombasa and Dar es Salam (East), Spain and Morocco (West) and Johannesburg and Cape Town (South).

DHL is banking on rapid cross-sector growth chiefly driven by increasing population, rising consumer spending and technology-driven economic transformation.

From 2005 to 2008, consumer spending across the continent increased at a compound annual rate of 16 percent, more than twice the GDP growth rate, indicating that economic growth is also resulting in wealthier communities and greater demand on the continent.

“A significant amount of growth in our business is resulting from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This group is going to be one of DHL’s main focal points as we look at how we can help these companies expand beyond current limits and leverage more opportunities in and out of Africa. We welcome the ongoing infrastructural investment by governments in the East African Community, and especially Kenya, because this will have a significant multiplier effect on regional communities,” said Mr Diallo.

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