Fox Projects demonstrates the staying power needed to “projectise” Africa
In contrast to what many companies experience when engaging the Africa market, Fox Projects has managed to overcome many of the challenges and instil a level of service around projects across several countries.
Fox Projects is currently involved in the rollout of projects in South Africa and Zambia. However, it has established a track record of service delivery in Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Part of the reason for Fox Projects’ success has been its ability to recognise the various challenges that await any business wanting to establish a sustainable operation within markets that are developing and have unique aspirations, requirements and dynamics.
The Company has identified access to key role players, funding, investment in difficult economic conditions and availability of skills as the most significant challenges.
There is generally acknowledged to be a big skills shortage across the continent. However, as the executive leadership of Fox Projects explains, whilst having the qualification is important, it takes experience to settle and effectively compete in Africa.
Mike Fox-Martin, an Executive Director of Fox Projects says, “Obtaining access to key role players without an introduction is difficult; however once a network is established it becomes easier to expand it. Funding is always a challenge; without it the client is unable to move, and consequently neither are we.”
“With the political challenges in jurisdictions such as Zimbabwe no major players are prepared to invest without significant returns which is especially difficult in the current economy where commodity prices are under pressure. Many countries require and encourage the utilisation of local skills, however many of the locals may have the necessary qualifications but generally lack experience,” he adds.
“Without a permanent office, telecoms and IT infrastructure is problematic and expensive. Fox-Martin points out that because of the pressure on bandwidth availability Fox Projects generally relies on cellular networks. “We attempt to utilise our client’s infrastructure as far as possible, and where this is not possible, we source local cellular provider(s) to lower the cost and also have a few options with respect to networks,” Fox-Martin continues.
Fox Projects is adamant that if a company can manage these difficulties Africa offers significant opportunities.
Fox Projects is currently involved in compiling a ten year business plan for a client to provide key information and data to support their strategy. It is also managing the design and construction of key installations necessary for the delivery of the production profile.
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