Ethiopia & Kenya will be the # 1 & # 2 African countries for construction growth in 2019. Ethiopia is forecast to see 7% GDP growth in in the 4th Q of 2019, with Kenya projected to experience 5.5% to 5.7% GDP growth in the 4th Q of 2019. This growth will be driven by housing, schools, hospitals, commercial facilities & infrastructure construction projects. The Kenyan construction sector is continuing to see expansion as we transition into 2020, a number of large Infrastructure and Industrial projects have recently been announced.

The Nigerian construction sector continues to experience positive growth as we move into 2020, a number of large Infrastructure (roads, airports and seaports) and Industrial / Oil & Gas projects have recently been given the green light to move forward, the cost of these projects is in excess of US $10 billion to be expended in the next two years. Nigeria is set for a significant increase in construction spending in the next three to five years, assuming it can get its political house in order. The Nigerian population is forecast to grow to 250 million in the next ten years. Inflation in Nigeria is forecast to be 11% to 14% in 2019, Nigeria’s GDP is forecast to grow in the 1.9% to 2.2% range in the 4th Q of 2019.

Other African counties are expected to see an uptick in their construction activity, these countries include, Zambia, Tanzania & Rwanda. These counties are forecast to experience between 5% & 6% growth for the remainder of 2019. Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire & Tanzania, are all forecast to experience above average GDP growth for the rest of 2019 in the 3% to 4.5% range.

The South African construction sector is continuing to see a serious contraction as we transition into 2020, political infighting and a lack of external investment are the root cause of this problem. South Africa’s recently elected President Ramaphosa promises to create jobs & work for the interests of all citizens. President Ramaphosa has been busy trying to attract more than $100 billion of investment over five years to boost the South African economy, a high percentage of this fund would be focused on infrastructure projects. Slow GDP growth of between 1.1% & 1.4% is forecast for the remainder of 2019. A shortage of skilled workers both in construction & manufacturing will continue to stymie South Africa’s economic growth for 2019 & beyond. The appropriation of farms owned by white South African farmers is a problem that needs to be addressed by the South African Government. Depressed minerals / commodity prices continue to hold back the South African construction sector. Business confidence is considered to be at a near all-time low in South Africa, historically one of the major economies of Africa.

Egypt is starting to see some encouraging signs in its construction sector, 4th Q 2019 GDP growth is forecast to be between 5.5% & 5.8%, however inflation is extremely high at 7% to 9%, unemployment is also a problem in Egypt, the current rate is in the 7% to 12% range. Morocco is beginning to see some promising signs in its economic / construction sector, 4th Q 2019 GDP growth is predicted to be between 3.1% & 3.5%.

If oil remains in the $55 to $65 a barrel range there could be an uptick in Oil / Gas construction activity in Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea & Cameroon, if oil prices retreat & stay below $50 a barrel the opposite will be the case.

2019 Global Construction Costs Yearbook

Compass International's 500+ page publication provides “current” detailed information on construction cost specific to 101 countries worldwide.

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