CAPE TOWN, South Africa- The demand for coatings is expected to present countless opportunities for suppliers of raw materials and finished products in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region. Increasing urbanization and the growth of the middle class are also set to promote market prospects. The major infrastructure chemicals and materials used in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region include waterproofing, sealants and grouts, thermal insulation, and coatings. Uptake of these products is highly dependent on the level of construction activities. 

A new analysis from market research firm Frost & Sullivan, Sub-Saharan Africa Infrastructure Chemicals and Materials Market, finds that the market was worth $524 million in 2010 and estimates it will reach $612 million in 2017. South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are the main countries covered in this research. 

Government is the largest driver for growth in the development of infrastructure and, therefore, has a significant bearing on the level of demand for infrastructure chemicals and materials. 

"SSA is characterized by a considerable infrastructure backlog," notes Frost & Sullivan’s Chemicals, Materials & Food Research Analyst Tatenda Zingoni. "Governments in the SSA region have plans to increase infrastructure investment, signaling potential increase in the demand for infrastructure chemicals and materials." 

The decisions by governments, therefore, significantly affect demand for infrastructure chemicals and materials. The market is set for rapid expansion, as governments in South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana have programs underway to increase the infrastructure stock in these countries. 

Currently, a number of countries in SSA are involved in the import of raw materials for manufacturing of products, along with import of finished products. The reliance on imports exposes local manufacturers and end users to potential supply-chain bottlenecks related to importing. 

"Ghana, Kenya and South Africa rely on the importation of some raw materials for manufacturing infrastructure chemicals and materials," explained Zingoni. "Delayed raw material shipments, as well as delays at ports of entry, pose a major challenge to suppliers and distributors." 

Manufacturers of infrastructure chemicals and materials can ensure they are not negatively or largely impacted by delays that could result from supply-chain disruptions by increasing their stock holding levels. 

"Having control of the raw material availability for the manufacturing process enables manufacturers to have access to critical inputs, thereby avoiding bottlenecks in the production system," advised Zingoni. "Although increasing stock levels raises costs, this works out to be a better option than running out of raw materials, which would negatively impact the manufacturing cycle." 

For additional information about the report, e-mail Samantha James, Corporate Communications, at