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Mar 18, 2013

DHL Boss describes African continent as a stronghold for business


Mr Ken Allen, Chief Executive Officer of DHL Express, has described Africa as the last bastion for business globally with the potential to improve to be stable and lucrative for international commerce.

Mr Allen is in Sub-Saharan Africa to visit some countries including Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.

The visit would serve as a platform for DHL to expand into the continent and increase its already vast footprint into the far-flung, rural areas.

This was contained in a statement issued to Ghana News Agency on Monday.

The DHL Boss would also use the visit to attend DHL’s internal employee celebration in Livingstone, Zambia, which acknowledges the company’s ‘superstars’ from over 60 countries.

The visit follows the March 5 announcement by Deutsche Post DHL that the DHL Express division made an EBIT contribution of EUR 1.11 billion in 2012, a 21 percent improvement over 2011.

Mr Allen expressed his eagerness to use this proven global business approach to further entrench DHL in the continent, spur on trade and connect the markets to increase the continent’s global competitiveness.

He said much had been said around Africa’s potential saying “It currently contributes only three per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product and is still the fastest growing continent”.

“We have seen positive economic indicators from countries across Sub-Saharan Africa such as Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda and I believe we will continue to see Africa improve its standing on the international business stage”, he said.

“The major challenge for Africa and primarily for us as logistics operators, is to improve infrastructure - whether this is road infrastructure or air capacity”, he noted.

He said current road conditions were responsible for approximately 40 percent of transport costs in coastal countries and 60 percent in landlocked countries adding that transport costs could make up 50 to 75 percent of the actual retail price of goods in countries such as Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda.

Mr Allen said DHL was currently transporting over 80 percent of its cargo by air, which was three and nine times more expensive than road or rail.

For Africa to become competitive, he said, there was the need urgent review the situation with a strong focus on the developments of the transport infrastructure.”

Source: GNA