Middle Eastern investment to strengthen the logistical backbone of African retail

In a move that could make it easier for retailers operating locally to import stock, Agility Africa, a subsidiary of Kuwait-based logistics company Agility Public Warehousing Co., is planning to open warehouse parks in Abidjan, Lagos, and Maputo by mid-2020. Each of these facilities will cost around USD200 million. It is also considering projects in Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, and Luanda, in addition to North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco).

These parks typically provide tens of thousands of square metres of warehousing, together with “reliable power, internet, and security,” according to Agility. The idea is “build it and they will come,” according to Geoffrey White, Agility Africa’s CEO.

Agility already operates a warehouse park in Tema, Ghana’s main port, which opened in 2016 and expanded last year. According to Agility, its warehouse parks “are used by companies for distribution, storage, assembly, processing, and light manufacturing. Agility Africa warehouses allow companies to avoid having to make expensive capital investments in non-core assets by developing built-to-suit facilities.”