Unicon Development chairman interview. Serge Pereira.

Unicon started modestly and it has become one of the biggest in Equatorial Guinea” stated the president of the Group, Mr. Serge Pereira, during the interview for his subsidiary website in Guinea.

Mr. Serge Pereira kindly granted an interview that explains the beginning of the company and the future projects in Oyala. The president of Unicon travelled to Malabo for the opening of the headquarters new offices and to visit Auca construction works. His impressions of the advance of the works as well as his goal of creating an educational system in Africa are explained in the interview.

Sincerity and transparency are present in this first interview of Unicon president.

serge_pereira_chairman_unicon_officeMr. Pereira, taking advantage of your visit to Equatorial Guinea, we would like to ask you few questions related to this branch and about the UNICON Group in general:

  • How did you like the new offices in Malabo? I really like the new offices. They are much larger and modern. They will allow us to consolidate the different teams in Malabo and make the Malabo team more present and efficient. On top of that, it gives an all-new image to the company in terms of positioning when it comes to quality. We strive for quality in our construction projects and this office reflects just that.
  • About the AUCA project, did you visit the site? How did you see the evolution of the works? I was satisfied of the progress. It is a massive project and I think we have done an amazing job considering where this site is located. It is difficult to believe that we are in the equatorial forest once you are in one of the modern buildings like the library. I really enjoy the mix of modernism and the beautiful scenery of the jungle.
  • What social and economic repercussion do you think this project may have for the region and the country? This project for me is one of the most important projects in the country. In our region, the need to develop and improve the educational system is crucial to allow Africa to develop into emerging countries. It is very important for a country such as Guinea Equatorial to train its population. It will allow the country to use its resources in a better way and to compete not only regionally but also globally. Education is key to development. That’s why Equatorial Guinea is investing not only in this University but also in several other very important educational projects.
  •  Are you proud of the contribution the project may represent? Absolutely. I am proud of our contribution because we are delivering beautiful facilities but most importantly bringing a high quality educational system thanks to our several partners in international universities throughout the world. 
  • How important is this project for the UNICON Group? This project is the first of a series of university projects. Thanks to the government of Equatorial Guinea, who has invited several personalities and heads of governments to visit this university campus, we have been able to develop new projects in the region. It has been crucial in demonstrating our capacity to deliver high quality construction and contents. 
  • We understand that, as any other branch, UNICON Guinea start what the challenge. What could you tell us about its evolution and its positioning as construction company in Equatorial Guinea?  UNICON started small and become a major player in Equatorial Guinea thanks to an excellent team of young dedicated leaders that really believe in the corporate mission of our company.  Our general Manager as an example, was among the first 2 employees of the company and arrived in Bata as a project manager at the very beginning.  Today Unicon positions itself as a high quality builder of mostly large projects. We focus on educational projects but also in the construction of the new town of Oyala. We use high standard systems such as SAP and we are ISO certified.
  • Do you plan to build new projects in the country? Yes, we have several projects in the pipeline in negotiation, mostly in the new town of Oyala where we have our main base. We will keep you up to date once it becomes official.
  • Regarding the Group in general, what could you tell us about its future? Which projects would you highlight? The group is growing year after year. We are shifting several things in our construction approach. In the past we have invested a lot in equipment and material for our projects and mainly relied on internal team to realize the works. We are changing our strategy in the fact that we are starting to hire more and more large contractors to subdivide the works and allow us to focus on the construction management aspect. We will become efficient and capable to build many more projects at the same time. Also we are at the time that most countries in our target market require project financing, it becomes necessary to ally ourselves with contractors that can bring different types of financing for the different projects we are developing in the region.
  • We assume it has been difficult to build a Group like this. Where does the idea of UNICON come from? Why Africa as operation field?  Firstly I am African. I was lucky to study in the United States but I always wondered why it could not be possible to obtain the same education in my country. The idea of starting Unicon came from the frustration of not seeing updated and competitive universities in Africa, and the true need to train its people. It offered a great opportunity for our company.  It has been challenging to convince for the need of such university project because of the investment required but at the end we are successful. We are now building a very large university in Congo that will accommodate more than 25,000 students and also one in Libreville that should start later this year. 

Si quieres leer la entrevista en Español, puedes visitar la página web: UNICON GUINEA

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