We spoke with Rafik Ouhab, sales engineer of Catari in Algeria, in order to understand the main challenges of the Algerian scaffolding industry and how Catari aims at contributing to overcome them.
Rafik Ouhab is a graduate in civil engineering from “Houari Boumediene” Sciences and Technology University. After starting his career as site manager, a position that he held for 4 years, he later worked for 3 years as technical manager in the specialized transportation field,which gave him the chance to travel all around the Algerian territory and boost his know-how in logistics.
In your opinion, what’s the current situation of the Algerian construction industry and what’s the market potential?
Algeria is a big market with a huge potential. We can see the opportunities that it has to offer just by looking at the number of foreign companies that keep installing.
Since the population will keep increasing as well as the need to build accessible houses and to develop the transportation infrastructure, both the public and private construction sectors are on the rise and will keep like that.
The same happens with the projects in the energy sector, whether it is for the construction of new plants or the maintenance of the existent ones.
The vision of the government to increase the local production may also impact the industrial sector.
What are the market trends in terms of scaffold types and the services offered?
The kind of scaffold used in Algeria depends on the type of project. For smaller projects, there is yet a long way to go.
Since there are no certified scaffold manufacturers in Algeria, all the certified products, as the European ones, are imported. Sometimes we can find some products manufactured locally but which carry, in my opinion, several safety concerns to its users.
On the large projects, we can already see a certain concern about the technical and safety norms, specially at jobsites of foreign companies.
The frame scaffold type is often found at the residential sector, whether it is on rehabilitation projects or on the construction of new buildings. Its fast assembly process and competitive price range makes it the ideal solution to the contractors specialised in this type of works.
The multidirectional scaffold, on the other hand, is often found at industrial projects. This is a flexible and adaptable system that allows to overcome the main constraints found at this kind of jobsites.
Construction of the residence Hamdine at Hydra, Algiers, with Catari FL scaffold
What needs to be improved?
From my point of view, providing continuous training to workers will always be the way to improve the sector conditions. Besides that, a higher level of control at the jobsites and a better organisation and planification would also play an important role.
The lower quality products shall be excluded, and the clients shall be instructed about the benefits of respecting the safety rules. Also, we need well trained technicians, capable of preparing and studying the projects in detail, to increase the productivity and at the same time prevent the hazards.
Without this type of measures, the workers of this sector will always be in danger.
What does Catari wishes to offer to the market? What are the factors that differentiate Catari from the other scaffolding companies in Algeria?
Catari goal is, above all, to be close to the market in order to be able to adapt and provide a quick response. We look forward to offer an European scaffold, duly certified by an international certification entity, designed and manufactured in Portugal, where the factory is located, with competitive prices when compared to the ones practiced in the market.
Regarding what I’ve mentioned previously, we also propose ourselves to tackle the existing problems by providing technical support, whether through scaffolding project design, for an accurate quantification of the materials needed and to prevent future constraints, whether through training, in order to prepare the clients to use our products correctly, or even through on-site supervision, to assure a correct assembly and to avoid accidents.
The geographical proximity is also something to be considered, once it will allow us to place the scaffold here in a short period of time.
" Catari commitment is to offer its best technical and human resources, to bring to the construction sector in Algeria the best scaffold products and solutions and, at the same time, to contribute to its technological development."