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Atkins establishes foothold in Africa with acquisition of East Africa-based multidisciplinary consultancy

Atkins has announced the acquisition of Howard Humphreys East Africa Limited Group, a multidisciplinary consultancy based in Kenya and Tanzania, which employs around 200 people. This move marks a significant step for Atkins providing a geographic expansion into the Africa market as a locally-based company. We expect the transaction to complete in approximately three months.

Howard Humphreys has been operating in the region since 1931 and supports clients across the infrastructure market in East Africa, with a strong track record providing engineering consultancy and project management services in the transportation, water and property markets. Atkins has worked on a number of projects with Howard Humphreys over the past decade and this has played an important role in cementing the bond between the two organisations.

Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ chief executive officer, said: “Africa is experiencing major investment in transportation, infrastructure and energy, presenting strong demand for world-class multidisciplinary design and consultancy services. This acquisition provides an excellent platform from which to develop our presence in the region and is in line with our strategy of targeted expansion into new geographies.”

Kanwal Syan, managing director of Howard Humphreys, said: “We’re extremely excited to become part of Atkins. The opportunities in East Africa are immense. As part of Atkins, our existing and new clients will have access to the full breadth of the Group’s expertise, so there’s no limit to what we can achieve together.”

Recent projects completed by Howard Humphreys include the new airport terminals at the international airports in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam; geothermal power projects in Kenya for the Kenya Electricity Generating Company and independent power producers; and the design and construction supervision of an 18,000 m² office tower in Upperhill, Nairobi.

Atkins has been carefully reviewing the Africa market to assess both the economic, social and business environment and to identify potential partners with well established businesses in attractive growth markets.

Simon Moon, chief executive officer for Middle East & Africa, added: “We know from long experience that in order to achieve sustainable success in any market, we need to have a strong presence on the ground. This gives us local knowledge and enables us to build close relationships with our clients based on the excellent reputation of both Howard Humphreys locally and Atkins internationally. Atkins has worked closely with the Howard Humphrey’s team for many years, and this acquisition is therefore absolutely the right move for our Group’s growth strategy in Africa.”

Paul Shepherd-Smith will lead Atkins’ operations in Africa as part of an enlarged Middle East & Africa (ME&A) business. He will report to ME&A regional chief executive officer Simon Moon.

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East Africa is experiencing major economic growth. Kenya is now the largest economy in eastern Africa, and the ninth largest in Africa. Studies have shown that Kenya contributed the bulk of the US $60-billion worth of large capital infrastructure projects recently implemented in East Africa. According to Tanzanian Government announcements, spending in the 2015/16 fiscal year will reach US $11 billion with spending aimed at improving key infrastructure projects in the energy and transport sectors.


For more information:  

Ben Thompson, Head of Communications, Middle East & Africa

Tel: +971 4405 9193 | Email:




Notes to editors:

 Atkins ( is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 18,600 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.

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Howard Humphreys is known as one of the leading consulting engineering firm in East Africa and has around 200 talented staff. From its main offices in Kenya and Tanzania, the firm has provided engineering and project management services on major projects in the region including: airports; geothermal and thermal power projects; landmark buildings; water and sanitation schemes; roads and transportation projects; and project management of civil and infrastructural building projects. You can find out more information on the Howard Humphreys website.

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