Security exports to Africa

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London, UK–based Track24, a leader in the security tracking and risk management sector, is all set to sell its services across Africa with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) London.

The company has previously established itself in markets including Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan. The company's solution combines software and hardware, using the latest satellite and GSM tracking and communication technology, to help governments, NGOs, private security companies and multinationals track personnel, vehicles, aircraft and maritime vessels overseas. In the event of an emergency, the exact location of an asset or person can be displayed on a screen independent of country infrastructure. The aim is to prevent incidents developing into crises. The company was set up in 2004 to provide a solution for private security companies operating in the Middle East, specifically Iraq and Afghanistan, to securely track and communicate with client personnel, offices and vehicles, and provide evacuation or reinforcement strategies in the event of a crisis. Iraq, in particular, had a demand for private security assistance on national infrastructure projects as part of the country's reconstruction and rehabilitation. Track24's clients now include many western governments and NGOs and a large number of customers involved in oil, construction, mining and private security though it has customers in a broad range of other industries. Business development and operations manager Patrick Barrett was brought in by Track24 in 2007 to increase the company's brand presence and to smooth its expansion into other geographic regions. Africa was considered particularly suitable, following various enquiries from African companies, as well as the continent's increased need for security measures due to its natural resource profile and political instability. After intial desk research, Barrett contacted UK UKTI's customer relations team and was referred to London international trade adviser Mike Gavin to discuss opportunities in Africa. As part of an initial company diagnostic, Gavin helped Barrett to research African markets, identifying Nigeria as the most promising area. Through UKTI's Passport to Export Scheme, which helps small and medium–sized companies develop their export business, Barrett also signed up to UKTI's Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) and Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) to obtain information about and contact details for potentially interested clients. Barrett said: "Africa is a large and, therefore, difficult continent to approach without extensive local experience. Mike Gavin added huge value by guiding us through the various obstacles, outlining valuable resources and opportunities in such a diverse market. UKTI's EMRS and OMIS schemes also introduced me to people and services we would otherwise have been unable to access so quickly. Following our Nigerian OMIS, we're currently looking into the East African market with Mike's help, which will help us to get a foothold and meet the right people. " Gavin said: "UKTI's EMRS and OMIS services provided Track24 with the necessary information to position the company for the Nigerian market. Over the past 14 to 15 months, Track24 has run with these opportunities, following the Passport to Export Programme. UKTI will continue to help the company under its Global Growth Programme for the next 18 months to two years in the African market, with the aim of pursuing contracts with major overseas petrochemical, mining and other companies and governments. " For more information, contact penelopeparkin@uktilondon. org. uk or visit the company's website at www. track24. co. uk/home/.

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