The man at the helm of the international bridge and engineering services specialists Mabey is accompanying prime minister Theresa May on her first official trade visit to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, on a trip designed to help British businesses unlock further economic potential in Africa.
Chief executive officer Michael Treacy is with May as she announced plans to boost Britain's investment in Africa after Brexit. While pledging £4bn in support for African economies, the three-day trade mission also hopes to take advantage of the growing infrastructure business in the continent.
Mabey say the visit will help the firm expand relationships and opportunities with representatives from the infrastructure sector across Africa and respond to the ongoing demand for infrastructure services in Africa.
From rural and emergency bridging programmes, through to infrastructure opportunities in inner cities with pedestrian bridging and flyovers, connectivity in Africa is enabling many areas of the continent to grow, especially in countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
The engineering specialists have a worldwide portfolio of work and supplied over 500km of steel bridging to more than 142 countries globally. Mabey has been exporting to Africa for almost 50 years, developing critical infrastructure to connect neighbouring communities, provide safe access to local healthcare and education facilities and widen the market for perishable goods.
Commenting on Mabey’s involvement on the trip, prime minister Theresa May said: “Mabey’s proud history of a commitment to quality, combined with its strengths in innovation, make it a brilliant example of the world-renowned expertise which British businesses have to offer. The global mindset which Mabey embodies is exactly what I want to see from UK businesses, and I am delighted that they are joining me on this visit.”
Mabey’s work in Africa also focuses on the employment of local people for its bridging projects, helping to transfer the technical and creative skills associated with construction.
Mabey’s chief executive, Treacy said: “We have been exporting to Africa since the 1970s and in 2018, demand for the type of infrastructure we provide has never been higher. We feel extremely privileged to be part of this visit, helping to accelerate infrastructure projects in the continent over the next 50 years more quickly, safely and efficiently.”