JA Delmas


JA Delmas






After learning the ropes in Saint Louis, Senegal, as early as 1828, Philippe Lafargue rapidly joins forces with Joseph Larrieu as business associates.

Following the death of this latter, and with no children, Mr. Lafargue brings in his nephew, Jean-Anselme Delmas (JA Delmas). Becoming partners, they develop their commercial activity and open the first branches (or "factoreries") in St. Louis, Rufisque, and throughout the Senegal river valley: sale of essential commodities like fabric and small hardware items, and local trade of peanuts and gum arabic.


In 1890, Jean-Anselme's son, Philippe, naturally succeeds his father and sets up his company in Dakar in 1903.

The business thrives throughout the country and the activity gets diversified: its traditional business activities are complemented by transportation and loading activities. This gave rise to the name Manutention Africaine.


The eldest son of Philippe, Jean Delmas, arrives in Rufisque and dies of yellow fever a few months later. So his younger brother, Pierre, aged 26, succeeds him in 1927. However, the economic climate is not conducive to traditional commerce.

Pierre then moves the company's activities in a technical direction, representing RENAULT at first, then on April 5, 1932, by signing the General Agreement with Caterpillar. Meanwhile, all activities in Senegal become collectively by the name Manutention Africaine (1928) headed by Robert Delmas (nephew of Philippe).


Economic activity stagnates once again. The Delmas premises in Bordeaux are requisitioned by the German Navy in 1942. Pierre Delmas then develops alternative activities in the Bordeaux region: insecticides, grape seed oil, polishes and waxes.

The post-war kick-starting of the economy allows our company to cover a wide range of activities from mechanical constructions and shipbuilding to bakery, transit and transportation and insurance. The Caterpillar and Renault representations experience significant growth. The business activity, which started in Bamako and the Ivory Coast in 1937, becomes significant in Abidjan, then Niamey and Conakry.


The independence of the African countries in which we operate coincides with the arrival of a new generation of leaders for our company.

Indeed, Philippe and Yves Delmas, Peter's son, gradually start to take the helm. The general policy is to specialise in the Caterpillar side of the business whose growth brings together the human and financial resources of the time.


New infrastructures begin to emerge for Manutention Africaine Ivory Coast in Yopougon, on a 10 hectare site and a plot surface of 13,500 m².


All our activities become focused on our core expertise: the supply and monitoring of premium quality goods. Growth accelerates in the 2000s around the exploitation of natural resources and development of the mining industry.


Manutention Africaine-Mali opens its new facilities: 5,600 m² of buildings on a 3 hectare site. The first Component Rebuilt Centre (CRC) is established (1100m²).


The first Cat Rental Store is established in Burkina Faso.


Opening of the Mathieu Lindor Regional Training Centre in Abidjan (Ivory Coast): a centre of excellence for technical training which illustrates our ambition to upgrade to the highest level our technicians’ skills.


Opening of the new facilities in Burkina Faso on 18 November on the site of Gampela / Ouagadougou: 350 employees, a 9.2 hectare site and a constructed surface area of 8 100m² including a C.R.C. (Component Rebuild Centre) of 2 100m², and a material demonstration area of 22 000m².

And today?

With more than 2,000 people, our organization is present in 11 countries in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

Thanks to the Cat range which we have been successfully distributing for over 80 years, we are actively involved in a range of different fields:

- Construction (public works, excavation, agriculture and forestry)
- Mining
- Energy (generators, power plants, marine and industrial engines, solar power).
- Industrial Equipment (compressors, forklifts and handling equipment).

Our teams offer reliable and high-performance equipment to meet your requirements with all the latest technologies onboard (EMSolutions). They also provide excellent local technical support, ensure the rapid supply of spare parts as well as premium training on-site or at our clients' locations, in both the mechanics and running of the machines.

Our long history in Africa over the last 160 years, our strong partnership with our customers, the worldwide reputation of our products… all contribute to make us the reference solution provider to succeed in your projects, whatever they are.

Our greatest asset remains our commitment to service.