Feature: Made-in-China construction products shine at exhibition in Kenya
NAIROBI, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Cutting-edge Chinese building materials and construction technologies are shining at an ongoing international construction sector exhibition in Kenya as local retailers and curious public marveled at the advanced products displayed at the stands.
Together with several of his colleagues, Moses, a local project consultant, on Tuesday morning drove all the way from the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi to the city's downtown areas where China Building Materials Brand Show (Kenya) is taking place.
The sharp-witted professional is sourcing for building materials like tiles displayed at the exhibition stands inside the Kenyatta International Convention Centre for his mid-sized company in Nairobi. After visiting stands of Italy and Germany, he was still not content with what he had sampled, and then one particular type of Chinese tiles made from new materials caught his eye.
Moses told Xinhua that there has been a lot of development in Chinese construction sector, and Chinese companies are doing an amazing job as their construction products are high quality with good design.
Moses was among thousands of Kenyans who attended this year's China Building Materials Brand Show (Kenya) organized by the Bureau of Foreign Trade Development under China's Ministry of Commerce to showcase a wide range of building materials and construction products from China, including underground drainage pipes, bathroom fixtures, ceramic tiles, and windows and doors.
Holding from November 5-7 and covering 546 square meters, the event is expected to attract over 20,000 visitors who are keen to purchase state-of-the-art items.
Nearly 40 Chinese companies are participating in the three-day show, running concurrently with the Big 5 Construct Kenya 2019 which attracted more than 200 exhibitors from over 30 countries.
Zhang Yong, representative of Jomoo (Xiamen) Construction Materials Co., Ltd., told Xinhua at the company's stand that Jomoo sees great potential in construction cooperation between Kenya and China, adding that the manufacturer would like to expand businesses and offer latest building technologies and solutions in the region.
African countries are facing a housing crisis as a result of high population growth, increased urbanization, poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements, and underdeveloped financial systems.
According to pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique, the overall shortage of housing in Africa is estimated at 56 million units.
Shenyang Ginde Plastic Pipe Industry Co., Ltd., one of the Chinese exhibitors at the show in Kenya, told Xinhua that urbanization and growing urban population will continue to trigger robust demand for infrastructure development in Kenya and they are looking forward to tapping into the Kenyan and other African markets.
Gordon Kihalangwa, principal secretary in Kenya's State Department for Public Works, said the exhibition presents an opportunity for policymakers and industry executives to learn about latest technologies that can be harnessed to achieve the affordable housing agenda for Kenya.
The government is keen to leverage on private capital to develop new housing projects in the rapidly growing urban centers, Kihalangwa added.
Charles Mwangi, a middle-aged Nairobi-based startup businessman who is looking for partners to grow his business, said compared with local products, Chinese products prices are not that wallet-friendly but they come with high quality.
He said that he intended to engage with Chinese exhibitors to learn more about latest development in construction technology and forge long-term business partnerships.