International design and engineering consultant Atkins looks to take advantage of an expected upswing in African infrastructure development with the strategic acquisition of the Howard Humphreys East Africa Limited Group.
“Africa is experiencing major investment in transportation, infrastructure and energy, presenting strong demand for world-class multidisciplinary design and consultancy services,” said Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ Chief Executive Officer. He added: “This acquisition provides an excellent platform from which to develop our presence in the region and is in line with our strategy of targeted expansion into new geographies.”
Kanwal Syan, managing director of Howard Humphreys, said: “We’re extremely excited to become part of Atkins. The opportunities in East Africa are immense.”
Atkins has been carefully reviewing the Africa market to assess both the economic, social and business environment and to identify potential partners with well-established businesses in attractive growth markets.
The acquisition of Howard Humphreys will give the company a strong presence on the ground, good local knowledge and the ability to build close relationships with clients based on the reputation of both Howard Humphreys locally, and Atkins internationally.
The East African multidisciplinary consultancy, based in Kenya and Tanzania, employs around 200 people and has been operating in the region since 1931. It supports clients across the infrastructure market in East Africa, with a strong track record providing engineering consultancy and project management services in the transportation and water markets. Atkins has worked on a number of projects with Howard Humphreys over the past decade.
Paul Shepherd-Smith will lead Atkins’ operations in Africa as part of an enlarged Middle East & Africa (ME&A) business. He will report to ME&A regional chief executive officer Simon Moon.
East Africa is currently experiencing major economic growth. Kenya is now the largest economy in eastern Africa, and the ninth largest in Africa. Studies have shown that Kenya contributed the bulk of the US$60 billion worth of large capital infrastructure projects recently implemented in East Africa. According to Tanzanian Government announcements, spending in the 2015/16 fiscal year will reach US$11 billion, with spending aimed at improving key infrastructure projects in the energy and transport sectors.