Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote met with the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on the need to speed up the necessary approval for his investment in power, mining and cement industries in the southern African country. Dangote, on a courtesy call to the Zimbabwean president at his state house, reminded Mugabe that he (Dangote) was awaiting the relevant approval and commencement of the investment in his country.
“We have already decided on multimillion investments in Zimbabwe in three sectors which are power, cement and coal mining. As soon as we get permits, we will hit the ground running.” he said.
According to the chief strategist of the multi-billion dollar company, Abdu Mukhtar, the Dangote group felt “comfortable and excited” about investing in the country.
“Everything is on track… we will be coming in and out [of Zimbabwe] to do all sorts of things as we kick start the projects,” he said.
The business mogul met with several governments earlier and was confident that Zimbabwe would accelerate the license and registration processes for the group to start operations ‘as soon as possible. He is therefore expected to start setting up the 1.5 million tons per annum plant by the end of the first half of 2016.
The industries would also invest in Zimbabwean power generation through the Black Rhino Group, a $5 billion African infrastructure fund in which US private-equity group Blackstone Group LP is a co-investor. Most of Dangote’s investments outside the shores of Nigeria are usually in cement manufacturing.
He recently commissioned a $420 million cement-manufacturing plant and a 30-megawatt coal-fired plant in Zambia early this month. He also commissioned a $250 million 1.5 million metric tons per annum cement grinding plant in Douala, Cameroon, barely three weeks after the Zambian plant was commissioned.
“The cement manufacturing unit has expanded capacity five-fold in the last four years while it plans to double potential output to 80 million tonnes by year end, with the Zimbabwean approvals in sight. We want to set up an integrated cement plant here that will be bigger than all the plants that we have,” “We look at setting up something that can translate into a million-and-a-half tonnes so that even when we continue to use cement, there won’t be a shortage of cement here. We will make cement available, the Africa’s richest man assured.”