The security market in Africa: focus on an expanding Eldorado

Arouna Nikiema, the boss of Burval is an alternative on an Ivorian market now open to competition.

The increase in recent years in the insured value of physical, petrochemical and airport facilities reflects the stakes of the security market in Africa. The general trend is towards the diversification of actors covering both surveillance, guarding, transfer of funds, industrial activities and cyber security.

In Morocco, Brink’s Maroc, a subsidiary of Brink’s France, itself a subsidiary of the American group Brink Inc, translates the private security scheme in the Maghreb. The actors belong to large international brands. Brinks Morocco shares the market with security and security company Group 4 Securicor (G4S), the world leader in security.

In sub-Saharan Africa, local businesses are high on international competition. This is the case, for example, of Sagam International (Senegal) of businessman Abderrahmane Ndiaye, who has expanded his activities in 30 years from guarding to the assembly of buses and petroleum products. This businessman, close to the Mauritanian banker Mohamed Ould Bouamatou, bought Senbus Industries and Elton Oil Company in mid-February 2019 without leaving his motto: the discretion to any test. No amount was disclosed during this major transaction very followed in the sub region.

Sagam has evolved through acquisitions, particularly in Ivory Coast (Brinks West Africa became Codival), but faces the emergence of new players. Thus, since 2016, this Ivorian market has seen the rise of Burval Corporate SA. The company founded by the Burkinabe businessman Arouna Nikiema has become the largest cash-in-transit network in the ECOWAS zone. The leader in fiduciary security makes available to his clients various services including equipped aircraft, armored vehicles, alongside management of financial flows, authenticity control and value processing. Alongside these complex professions of the « real economy », there are those dealing with cyber security and computer surveillance in general.

Anticipating the expansion of this segment, the Japanese NEC XON and the Senegalese La Colombe Group of Djiby Chimère GUEYE launched in late 2018 one of the first centers of cyber-security south of the Sahara.

Far from supporting companies and organizations, some entities make military security (or rather paramilitary) that goes from close protection to private intelligence through anti-terrorist actions. These groups crisscross the Sahel from Burkina Faso to Mali, via Niger and Chad and are named by the Nigerian Security Company (SNS) of the promoter Yacine Diallo, but also West Africa Security, G4S and Black Hawk.

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