Egypt’s giant construction firm Wady El Nile opens Nairobi office

The firm is eying major infrastructure contracts currently dominated by Chinese firms.

In Summary

•Wady El Nile is one of the largest engineering and construction companies in Egypt.

•It plans to use the regional office in Nairobi to launch its battle for a piece of the region’s big-ticket infrastructure works.

Wadi El Nile main offices/COURTESY
Wadi El Nile main offices/COURTESY

Cairo-based construction giant,Wady El Nile, is setting itself up for a tough battle with Chinese multinationals for mega projects in Kenya and the entire East Africa region.

The company, which is one of the largest engineering and construction companies in Egypt, has opened a regional office in Nairobi from where it will launch its battle for a piece of the region’s big-ticket infrastructure works.

The firm is eying major infrastructure contracts currently dominated by Chinese firms.

“Our new office in Nairobi presents an opportunity to focus on building stronger relationships with our customers and their communities,” said Engineer Hany Dahy, the Chairman and Managing Director, Wady El Nile.

Dahy is the current elected chief of Egyptian Engineers Syndicate.

Since inception in 1980, Wadi El Nile, has undertaken a myriad of projects in Egypt both in the public and private sector. It has over 8,000 employees from different specialties.

Wady El Nile undertakes projects in infrastructure, real estates, health care, transportation and infrastructure, education, youths and sports, archaeological restoration, irrigation and technology among other fields.

Dahy says the company has undertaken hundreds of projects including developing several hi-tech cities in Assuit, Burj Al Arab, El Sadat and Beni Suef in addition to establishing Egypt’s first smart phone factory and participating in the implementation of the smart meters system for Egypt Electricity Network.

The firm has also established and developed more than 250 railway stations and three main ports to world -class standards and requirements.

Over the years, the company has built more than 850 health units, emergency departments, blood banks and radiology centers, serving over 7,700 patients.

“Contributing to the conservation of water wealth, we have constructed dozens of kilometers of lined irrigation channels, lined canals and waterways,”Hany said.

As a starting point, the Egyptian construction giant has already expressed its interest in the development of a couple of major projects in Kenya by both the public and private sectors.

The entry of Wady El Nile along with its financial backing by the Egyptian banks and government is expected to bring competition to Chinese multinationals, who have been winning almost all tenders for projects financed by the China Exim Bank.

Over the past decade, Chinese have scooped nearly 90 per cent of the lucrative tenders issued by the Kenyan government particularly those touching on roads, rail and port projects.

Local contractors have been in the past blamed their woes on the government’s move to raise demand on firms during the tendering process, for instance requiring experience on big ticket projects – which most local firms lack due to many years of under investment in the sector.

However, the workmanship of Chinese contractors has consistently earned many accolades from both ordinary citizens and government officials.

On the other hand, local contractors have over the years received negative reviews from members of the public mainly due to delays in completion of projects and poor workmanship that has led to collapse of buildings, bridges and incomplete projects.

According to Eng. Dahy, since inception, Wady El Nile has gone through different phases in terms of size, scope and returns.

Despite the challenges, the company has in the recent past witnessed an exponential growth in business volumes.

This has mainly been attributed to introduction of new business practices, use of advanced technology and facilities.

In the next phase, the company aims to scale up its competitiveness, business volume and diversity and venture into new markets locally and internationally.

As the battle for mega project deals hots up, the office in Nairobi will facilitate development of projects throughout the region, managment notes.

In the most recent years Wady El Nile has continued to grow in revenue defying the global challenges of the financial crisis. The company prides itself for being dynamic and constantly evolving to stay ahead of the curve.

In the past five years it has succeeded in attracting Egypt’s most talented workforce to join its large family of talent to provide unmatched quality in every project.