The Needs of African Nations Align well with technology deployed by Vermeer-CEO Mary Andringa

Vermeer CEO Mary Andringa with Minister of Foreigh Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, Mr. Abdirahman Dualeh Belleh at the recent USA-Africa Leaders Summit Vermeer CEO Mary Andringa with Minister of Foreigh Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, Mr. Abdirahman Dualeh Belleh at the recent USA-Africa Leaders Summit[/caption] It is a good time for more trade engagement with Africa says Mary Andringa CEO of  Vermeer a global leader in the provision of agricultural and industrial equipment. Currently in South Africa ,parts of North Africa,Nigeria and the D.R.Congo, the needs of African Nations align well with technology that Vermeer deploys around the world ,Mary Andringa said. The CEO of Vermeer was one of the active participants at the USA-Africa’s leaders forum as the company seeks to expand its operations and networks in Africa. With growing emphasis on agriculture,energy and infrastructure across the continent, Vermeer is one of the American Companies which could find a lot of willing partners . What Vermeer is looking for are the right people with the interest in learning the technical side of equipment solutions and providing customers with premium services when it comes to parts,services and technical knowledge,Mary Andinga said. In a show of confidence against competition , Mary Andringa said the level of support differentiates Vermeer from others as her Corporation does not just sell equipment and leave but also places much emphasis on the productivity and profit of customers. In technology and support, Vermeer has what it takes to compete and do better than some of the Chinese companies she said. Your company was actively present at the recent USA-Africa Leaders Summit, what impressions did you leave the summit with? It is a good time to become more engaged with trade for Africa. With the emphasis in Africa on power and communications, clean water, etc. the needs of many African nations align well with the technologies we have been deploying around the world. In what parts of Africa is Vermeer presently doing business in and how has the experience been so far? We are doing a lot of work in S. Africa and parts of Sub Saharan Africa. The experience has been good. We work through focused Vermeer dealers. Our dealer in S. Africa has been excellent in supporting customers. We  have worked in Northern Africa on some project deals.  We are also involved in surface mining in the DRC. What exactly has been holding back your company and in a broader sense American companies from investing in Africa? Finding the right people to represent Vermeer who are willing to learn about the technical side of our equipment solutions and understand the expectations for taking care of customers with parts, service and technical knowledge. We also need people we can trust and who are ethical in their work practices. The massive presence of African Leaders was probably an indication of willingness to do business with the USA; did you leave with the conviction that some of the issues which have discouraged companies like Vermeer from investing in Africa will be addressed? I was much more confident that issues of transparency and working in an ethical manner are priorities for African governmental leaders and leaders of businesses. The growth of American business in Africa comes at a time when countries like China are all over the place, what strategy does Vermeer have make inroads in the African market in the face of competition? mary.andringaWe focus on trying to make a real impact on our customers’ productivity and profit. Therefore we are not just selling equipment and then leaving with no followup. We want our customers to be very successful in using our solutions. Therefore our level of support really differentiates us. I believe with our technology which helps improve infrastructure, and manage natural resources we have some great solutions for the variety of infrastructure projects going on in Africa. And our technology and support can help us compete against Chinese and other competitors. As a follow up to that if you were asked to articulate the case on why Africans should opt for business with American companies, how will you sum it up? As a US company, I would ask African companies to look at who can give them the most value. They need to consider not only the initial purchase price of solutions, but how are they going to be supported in their work.  A major concern has been a lot of the companies which come are all about profit, with little care to communities or social initiatives, what does Vermeer has as a policy to help worthy development causes in the community besides business? Our history in the US has been one where we have given back to our communities for over 6 decades. As we do work internationally where we have entities, our team members have given of their time to be involved in various community projects—like volunteering time in orphanages, raising money for good causes, etc. But as important is helping our customers be productive and profitable so they gain more work and provide good jobs for local citizens.  In Africa our dealership has aided in several projects where a compressed earth block machine (with ties to Vermeer) has been used to build structures for not of profit organizations. May we have an idea on the post summit plans of Vermeer for its investments in Africa, how soon before we see the next steps in your company’s expansion to Africa? Vermeer_D16x20A_Navigator_horizontal_directional_drilling_machine_(1)We are intent to continue on working on a plan which we started a year ago. We have added a person from our European office to focus totally on new markets in Africa. He has conducted several educational seminars in Ghana on using trenchless technology to install electrical lines or fiber without cutting streets and disrupting traffic. We will continue to focus on this type of education and connection where there are power or fiber projects.  We are also hoping to be more intentional about involvement in MCC projects in Africa. A last question, how does the USA strike a balance between corporate interests in Africa and values like democracy, good governance and democracy? We are just getting to know the MCC organization, but their filter for where money is invested may be the model for how the US strikes that balance—looking for democracy, good governance and supportive local government and private enterprises. For more on Vermeer and its products click here]]>

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  1. I wonder what took America so long to notice Africa, but lets hope there can do better than Europeans who have done nothing but to loot and pillage the continent

  2. Did the CEO say the Company is in Congo? Did she see the sorry state of the road that President Kabila was walking on after his vehicle got stuck in the mud? There is no reason why we should have a company like Vermeer and not use their equipment to have good roads

  3. I guess Vermeer will do a better job than the Chinese who bring only their Chinese brothers to work, abuse Africans and as soon as they leave, infrastructure is broken with no one to fix it.

  4. Better late than never, one must be skeptical about US motives but European presence has done more to hurt and little to help Africa.Africa will be better off dealing with Americans and learning from their technology

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