By Cameron Chai
Siemens has announced its plans to expand its presence in Africa. Towards this end the company plans to create 500 green jobs in the region and increase its orders in Africa by three times by the year 2012 from the 2009 figures of € 3 billion.
Siemens VAI ladle furnace at Xingtai Steel
Siemens is also investing € 200 million in the region through partnerships with local companies during the next two years. The green initiatives of the company will also create jobs for its partners and suppliers. Siemens has already around 2,000 local suppliers in South Africa alone and an additional 1,000 in the African continent.
Sub-Saharan Africa has a GDP growth of 5% in the current year and the UN has predicted that Africa will be the fastest urbanising city by the year 2030 with 750 million city dwelling population. Scientific studies have established that Africa will be one of the places to be severely affected by change in climatic conditions. The fact that the COP17 conference was recently held in Africa highlights the gaining importance of Africa in the global arena. In a research sponsored by Siemens and conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit, all African cities were analysed based on factors such as transport, energy and the amount of land used. The city of Johannesburg came up as the greenest city in the index with a sound transport system, reduction of congestion, firm environmental policies and clean energy.
In its efforts to create a green Africa Siemens has also created the Wind Power Centre of Competence for Africa and the Middle East situated in Africa. The company recently celebrated its 150th anniversary in Africa.