PMI Interactive Feature
Turkey, Kenya and Costa Rica

Turkey, Kenya and Costa Rica are rising up in the world — with the help of project management.

As the global economy rebounds, emerging markets represent the fastest-growing realm for project managers. Three of these up-and-coming nations — Turkey, Kenya and Costa Rica — have stable GDPs and plenty of new projects in the pipeline. And the shortage of qualified project managers means there are serious career opportunities.

Presented by the Project Management Institute

Turkey

Turkey: The Bridge Between Europe and Asia

Turkey is a rising economic star in Europe. Compared with economically troubled euro zone members such as Spain and Greece, Turkey has weathered the crisis to become a major success story.

Though the country’s GDP contracted last year, The World Bank predicts it will surpass 3 percent growth by 2010. By 2050, Turkey could become the third-most robust economy in Europe behind Russia and the United Kingdom, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.

Driving this growth is Turkey’s geostrategic position between Europe and Asia. Bordering six countries, two islands and four seas, it’s fast becoming a hub for project investment.

As in many emerging markets, infrastructure development is the first step, making up the bulk of

Turkey’s project activities. Investment in megaprojects for infrastructure could top US$15 billion, according to Business Monitor International, with energy, transportation and utilities projects contributing the lion’s share.

Some of the major projects in the works include construction of high-speed railways, ports, the Izmit Bay Bridge and motorway, and the Bosphorus Tunnel.

The demand for project managers is very strong in Turkey, says Gulay Ozkan, managing director, GEDS Business, an Istanbul-based technology consultancy.

The market could support up to 30,000 Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders, she says. Right now, however, only about 700 project managers in Turkey have the credential, says Ms. Ozkan, who also serves as president of the PMI Turkey Chapter.

Kenya

Kenya: East Africa’s Regional Hub

The majority of people and goods that come into East Africa pass through Kenya’s seaports and airports.

This ever-increasing amount of traffic should prove promising for project management — especially when combined with a rebounding economy. The country’s GDP grew 2 percent last year and is expected to increase to 6 percent by 2012.

The biggest opportunities lie within the transportation, road construction and energy sectors, says Newton Osiemo, director, Kenya Institute of Project Management, Nairobi. In President Mwai Kibaki’s Vision 2030, a stimulus plan of US$25 billion, approximately US$2.3 billion is earmarked for infrastructure.

Part of that money will be used to build or upgrade 64,500 kilometers (more than 40,000 miles) of roads and modernize and expand the rail network.

Kenya’s government will also expand the Mombasa port — the largest and possibly most congested in the region — and a port in Lamu.

Rift Valley Railway, the company that won the concession to operate Uganda and Kenya’s railway, is spending over US$200 million to revive the Kampala-Mombasa line.

For all of the positive signs, though, problems remain. Governance is an issue in Kenya, where corruption is rife, according to The World Bank. And on a project management level, managers in the country are still not highly trained in leadership and lack the proper qualifications, Mr. Osiemo says.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica: Latin America’s Tourism Hot Spot

Costa Rica boasts one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Central America. This is largely due to the country’s political stability, high education levels and natural biodiversity.

Despite a 2 percent contraction in GDP last year, the economy is expected to rebound.

Key to any recovery is a thriving ecotourism sector supported by the country’s 32 national parks, eight biological reserves, 13 forest reserves and 51 wildlife refuges.

Several high-profile tourism projects are already in the pipeline, including the continued expansion of the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport and the US$107 million Juan Santamaria Airport rehab project.

Another reason for the predicted uptick is Costa Rica’s focus on becoming a regional hub for cargo shipments

and distribution into Central America and the Caribbean, according to Business Monitor International. The current government plan envisions a US$700 million port terminal on the Atlantic coast.

But with so much project activity, Costa Rica still faces a shortage of skilled project managers, says Walter Mena, project manager at AdvanceMe, a financial provider in San José. There are a couple of options to gain a solid foundation in the profession, though: the PMI Costa Rica Chapter and the Universidad para la Cooperación Internacional, which offers a master’s program accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC).

Large organizations are able to access experienced project managers, but he says local companies still need to gain a better understanding of the relationship between project management and operations.

Turkey, Kenya and Costa Rica

More From PMI.org

Return to PMI.org for more articles from PM Network® and other publications from the Project Management Institute.

For more on emerging markets, read the June 2010 PM Network feature story, “Beyond BRIC.”