The elevator world in Brazil
The very complicated elevators on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

Africa’s lifts market

The current world scenarios impose a necessary reflection on the new and old markets in the lift sector: Africa for example. With Africa’s population expected to double from the current 1.1 billion by 2050, the demand for housing and associated amenities structures is likely to surge sharply as the estimated urban population grows, a potential trigger for the consumption of modern residential elevators. A growing real estate sector and increasing demand for housing catering to the aged and physically challenged are driving growth of sub-Saharan Africa’s residential lifts market. Furthermore, new efforts to enforce hitherto ignored building codes — especially in Kenya, Ghana and Botswana — have raised prospects of an increase in demand for platform. Some countries in the region have also attracted local and international hospitality industry investors either building or planning new properties that require VT. Sub-Saharan African countries have specific lift requirements for all facilities that provide hospitality services. In 2018, there were 110 new hotel construction deals signed in Africa, with a combined 18,655 rooms, up from the 94 deals with 14,606 rooms in 2017, creating further lift business opportunities. In Kenya, the rate of urbanization has grown to 4.5%, higher than the global average of 2.5%. Kenya will have the largest lift market, due to a larger economy and higher levels of infrastructure development and associated construction, he says. Elsewhere, there is a push by state agencies overseeing construction standards to enforce national building codes that have largely been neglected. This lack of oversight has led to fatal incidents, such as the collapse of buildings, many in East and West Africa. In Ghana, the government said it has fully embraced efforts to implement the country’s building code, launched in 2018 after essentially operating without a comprehensive code since the country gained independence in 1957. “Essentially, it has been a free-for-all in the building and construction industry, with no clearly defined standards,” Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said when he launched the Ghana Building Code. According to Bawumia, enforcement of the code will allow the government to alleviate fears of building collapse and enhance the safety of building tenants. The code requires that all residential buildings of at least four stories have passenger lifts between the ground and residential floors. Kenya has a similar code, but, despite the frequent collapse of buildings (especially in the capital, Nairobi), it has been haphazardly enforced. The Kenya Building Code, which the Nairobi government recently pledged to enforce more strictly, requires every building of at least six stories to be equipped with at least one passenger lift. In addition, it requires that buildings exceeding six stories be provided with at least one firefighter lift. The code also requires bulk storage buildings (such as warehouses) taller than 30 m be provided with a “number of firemen’s lifts” so that no portion of any floor is more than 60 m away from such a lift. Botswana is also pursuing full enforcement of building regulations. Every hotel must provide a lift; if it is taller than three stories, at least two lifts (one for service personnel only) must be provided. The push for building code enforcement could see owners of existing buildings embark on retrofitting to ensure compliance, hence creating further business for lift modernization providers across the region. In South Africa, a scarcity of available land for new construction is encouraging a preference for multistory buildings.