Victor identified a number of key industry subsectors, including explosives, agriculture products, such as fertilizers, and polymers. He also pointed to the growing importance of oil and gas reserves, especially in Mozambique, that will drive new growth and development.
He stated that exports will remain the most important market for African chemical products for now, but he expects domestic markets to become increasingly important in the near future. He mentioned significant market activity in Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Ghana, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria.
Victor listed a number of challenges for the chemical industry in Africa, such as demonstrating compliance with local regulations, addressing government policies and protecting investments with proper financing. In addition, foreign investors need to understand that, much like China, patience is required to establish good relationships with government and business stakeholders. He also stressed the importance of maintaining a commitment to social welfare and the well-being of local communities, a commitment that is especially important to Sasol.
Asked to name the single greatest advantage that the African chemical industry now enjoys, Victor put economic growth at the top of the list. “Africa has a strong rate of growth and the industry will benefit from our expanding markets and trade well into the foreseeable future.”