Booming construction industry in East Africa makes hardware shops a major business

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Due to the booming construction industry in East Africa,  particularly the flourishing real estate sector, hardware shops are ripping big time.

A survey in various suburbs, especially on the outskirts of the capitals across East Africa shows that the number of hardware outlets have sharply increased in response to booming construction industry in East Africa .

You will rarely walk or travel for 30 m without missing a hardware selling construction materials. Examples of materials found in hardware are cement; nails iron sheets doors water pipes window panes among others.

For instance in a Kenyan capital area of Githurai, you will find very many hardware shops lining up the main road and others that crisscross the estate. In both Uganda and Tanzania the situation is the same. In Arusha for example, it is a beehive of activity for hardware shops that dot several street of the town.

“Our shops have brought construction materials closer to the people. They do not need to go to the factories because our prices are also fair.  I sell a bag of cement at Ksh700. I have only added a smaller margin on the factory price,” says Robert Kimani who owns a hardware in Githurai.

The venture is so lucrative that hawkers have invaded the market. In several neighborhood of the capitals across Kenya Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia you find people selling screw drivers, spanners, pliers and other small hardware goods in the streets . The business has been made more attractive to small scale constriction because things like cement and sand can be sold in half a kilo.

According to experts from real estate firms the boom in hardware shops will not slow down soon because the construction sector is still very vibrant and is likely to remain so for several years to come.

It is this boom in the real estate sector coupled with a bursting population in East African countries that is set to see operators of hardware shop mint money for a long period of time.