Siemens is gearing up for continued growth in its new fiscal year, especially in the emerging markets like Africa, after ending fiscal 2011 with record operating results. On the occasion of the company's global board members meeting in South Africa, Peter Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens AG, announced that Siemens will be creating 500 new green jobs in Africa in the coming years. "Siemens will increasingly look to rapidly growing economies like Africa to meet our growth targets. Creating local green jobs will enable us to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly products and services throughout Africa," says Löscher. By 2012, Siemens wants to triple new orders in Africa from their 2009 levels to €3 billion.
With an average GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa of about 5% in 2011, the region is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. In order to expand its business in Africa, Siemens is investing €200 million into building partnerships with African companies over two years. Siemens wants to continue to be part of Africa's growth and has decided to have its annual global Siemens board meeting for the first time in Africa. "We will focus on our Africa strategy and meet with customers, financial institutions, mayors and ministers to discuss their needs," says Löscher. Siemens' portfolio correlates to Africa's needs and the company sees great opportunities for Africa and its own business development on the continent. "In fact, Siemens has products and services across all four of our business Sectors to address the continent's urgent needs in the areas of energy, water, mobility, infrastructure, industry and healthcare," adds Löscher.
According to the latest United Nations figures, Africa is the world's fastest urbanizing region and by 2030, the continent is expected to have more than 750 million city dwellers – more than the current population of the entire western hemisphere. Siemens' newly formed Infrastructure & Cities Sector is geared to address the unique challenges posed by such rapid urbanization. "African cities face the enormous challenge of reconciling urban growth with a good quality of life. We can offer them comprehensive products and services from one hand to achieve this," stated Roland Busch, the CEO of the Infrastructure & Cities Sector and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. To aid efforts and understanding in the field of urban sustainability Siemens commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to compile the African Green City Index. It is a unique research study that compares the environmental performance and policies of African cities across categories such as energy/CO2, land use, transport, waste, water, sanitation, air quality and environmental governance. In a preview of the results Dr. Paul Kielstra, Contributing Editor of the EIU shared the results of Johannesburg. "The city of Johannesburg is one of the greenest cities in the Index and ranks above average overall," says Kielstra. "Its environmental performance is bolstered by having the second highest amount of green space among the 15 Index cities and an extensive bus network, as well as generally robust environmental policies, especially for clean energy and congestion reduction," he adds. The outcomes of the study could support the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau, in the implementation of the Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy.
More than 1,8 million new jobs have been created in the renewable energy sector over the last ten years. Siemens has the largest and most comprehensive portfolio of green products in the world and according to Löscher it takes 'green jobs' to support this portfolio. To support the drive to create new green jobs in Africa, Siemens has recently established its Wind Power Center of Competence for Africa and the Middle East in South Africa. "We are building engineering expertise with a focus on local skills development and entering into partnerships with local suppliers for the manufacture of various components," says Löscher. "In addition to the 500 new jobs that we will create, our green efforts here will also create many more jobs for our partners and suppliers." This is good news, considering that Siemens has 2000 local suppliers in South Africa and a further 1000 on the continent.