While most markets have recovered somewhat from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns that followed, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, renewed lockdowns in China as well as the rising costs of energy, are starting to influence construction markets, an International Construction Market Survey (ICMS) for 2022 has said.
In its ICMS 2022 release, Turner & Townsend, the independent professional services company operating in the global real estate, infrastructure and natural resources sectors, notes that the potential for growth in renewable energy in Africa presents many opportunities for the construction industry.
“The continent is rich in hydro, solar and wind, and the use of renewables is a more attractive scenario for many African nations. There are many regions where the local population still has no access to electricity, and decentralised renewables offer the opportunity to provide cheap local electricity,” the Survey says.
The report notes that activity in the construction sector has weakened over the last year. A major factor contributing to this is the cost of construction, which has been driven higher by the supply-chain bottlenecks caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, as well as the rising costs of energy.
Renewables growth in Africa effect on construction
From 2019 to 2020 alone, solar and wind capacity in Africa increased by 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, while hydro-power soared 25 percent. Total installed renewable energy capacity in Africa has grown by over 24 GW since 2013.
“Switching to renewables would also do away with reliance on imported fossil fuels for many nations while offering energy security going forward.”
According to the Survey, some African cities have shown significant recovery, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Gaborone, Harare, Nairobi, Kigali, Kampala, and Lagos.
However, the market’s full potential requires more growth to restore gross domestic product (GDP) to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, inflation across the continent will likely reduce consumer demand, further impacting growth throughout 2022.
The ICMS is Turner & Townsend’s largest and most in-depth report, drawing from data and experience from 90 global markets, and exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by the economic market conditions that affect the construction industry.