A blessed 2020 to all our employers, clients, partners and stakeholders!
It is with pleasure that we reconnect with our valued employers, clients and partners we work with at the start of 2020 – a year which we all hope will mark a positive turnaround for the continent of Africa.
We would like to thank all our employers for entrusting us with the delivery of their projects, and clients and partners for their significant role in helping to ensure the successful delivery of the projects we have collaborated on over the past year, and express our hope that these mutually beneficial partnerships will continue not only during 2020 but for years to come.
The start of a new year at Bigen is always an exciting time as we anticipate the growth and opportunities that the Group’s Vision 2021 strategy will realise. Africa is a continent ripe with potential and opportunity. At Bigen, we have carefully laid our plans for strengthening our visionary leadership within the infrastructure development industry space through deftly navigating the political and economic climate of the continent. Let me inspire you with a brief outline of our exciting journey so far towards maximising the Group’s role – and those of our clients and partners – in helping African governments achieve their sustainable infrastructure development goals.
Key to our success is, of course, our solid foundation of financial stability, reputation for excellence, visionary business strategy and strategic partnerships with other players in the infrastructure development industry. Our flexibility in continuously addressing external challenges and repositioning ourselves for growth, with well-considered adjustments to our business offering, powerfully maximises our business opportunities within the infrastructure development industry. Through resilience and innovation, we have maintained our positive ongoing growth of 20% from the previous financial year in spite of the volatile economic business environment we operated in during the past year.
We will continue to position ourselves for sustainability and growth despite negative industry growth, notably in the southern African region. Indications that the South African economy remains Africa’s best case for foreign investment in infrastructure development on the continent and infrastructure investment of R865 billion during 2019 – 2020 in the South African budget, augur well for our Group. The three sectors to benefit most from this expenditure will be transport and logistics (36%), energy (18%) and water and sanitation (15%). We, therefore, believe that Bigen and our partners are well-positioned to continue weathering the storm and to capitalise on the expected economic upturn.
During 2019, our project pipeline continued to expand and, encouragingly, advisory and concessions revenue was generated. Across Africa, from Bigen Global Limited’s headquarters in Mauritius, our Group has actively been establishing our regional hub in Nairobi, Kenya to focus on business in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia; capitalising on past business development efforts in Accra, Ghana (West African hub) to convert projects to revenue stage and expand into Senegal, Nigeria and the Côte d’Ivoire, and we are fully operationalising our business in Mozambique and expanding our capabilities in Botswana beyond water and sanitation projects, as well as strategic rail transport infrastructure in Zambia. Our strategic partnership and indigenization commitments in all countries remain a key priority as we know we can only succeed to build a sustainable future if we take hands with all our stakeholders – together we will make the difference!
We are further investigating innovative ways of using our excellent track record in housing delivery to provide housing solutions in East and West Africa as part of addressing the significant backlog across the continent. Development funding and strategic investments mobilization remain key to our success, while country risk profiles and government priorities and budgets continue to be important considerations.
Our strategy persistently enhances our brand equity as a leading infrastructure solutions provider with the purpose of “doing good while doing business”, and establishes us as the preferred partner of governments and development institutions. Our recently formed Development Advisory and Impact (DAI) directorate, as well as the Africa Infrastructure Advisory Programme (AIAP), play central roles in our Group’s strategic shift towards being a development impact leader, world-class advisory business and institutional service support so as to attract funding, build extensive networks, build delivery capacity in institutions and deliver indigenous infrastructure development solutions benefiting communities across the continent.
Attesting to our positive business trajectory is the many prestigious industry awards won over the years. In 2019, Bigen proudly received:
- Number one placement in the Consulting Engineers sector of the 2019 Top 500: South Africa’s Best Managed Companies listings;
- Infrastructure award in Topco’s Vision 2030 Awards;
- Topco’s National Business of the Year award; and
- Top Gender Icon award in the Standard Bank Top Women Awards.
As we start 2020, I am confident that, collaborating with our visionary employers, and exceptional team of professional clients and partners, we will together prevail over the economic and industry challenges that our country and continent will no doubt continue to encounter in this year. While our approach to helping governments address their infrastructure development needs has proven successful, at Bigen we will continue to refine our short- and long-term business strategies to ensure maximum benefit for our Group, our clients and partners, and our continent.
Bigen’s strategic partnership philosophy affords our external stakeholders the opportunity to collaborate with us in creating a sustainable future for Africa. We invite you to contact us to find out how we can, together, continue to make a difference.
May we, together, enjoy a positive, profitable and prosperous 2020!
Bigen Board, CEO and Leadership