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close this bookReport of the Workshop on the Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies (HABITAT, 1994, 132 p.)
close this folderAnnex I. THE BUILDING-MATERIALS SECTOR IN THE AFRICAN REGION
close this folderIII. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO INFLATION IN THE BUILDING-MATERIALS SECTOR: ANALYSIS OF CURRENT TRENDS
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Government policies for the building-materials sector
View the document2. The need for productivity improvements in the industry
View the document3. Distribution and marketing of building materials
View the document4. Demand-management in the low-cost building-materials sector

3. Distribution and marketing of building materials

22. Transport and distribution costs can claim a significant share of the total cost of a building material. Usually, the larger the scale of production, the greater is the cost for transport and distribution of the material to the end-user. In developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, distribution costs can be disproportionately high because of run-down infrastructural facilities and high trucking costs. For example, in the United Republic of Tanzania, the price of cement could be seven times higher at a remote location than the ex-factory price. Small-scale producers, on the other hand, can meet the needs of proximate markets with price advantage. Therefore, policies and promotional measures supportive of the small-scale sector could help bring down prices of basic materials used by the shelter sector.

23. Micro-enterprises operating in the informal sector make a particularly valuable contribution to the supply of low-cost building materials to house-builders in low-income groups. Their strength, essentially, lies in keeping overheads and distribution costs low. Nevertheless, they lack managerial and marketing skills and also market information for progressive market penetration through forward planning and product diversification. Local-government authorities and non-governmental organizations could help the enterprises to expand their market share through training and marketing-assistance programmes.