Africa's richest man Dangote moots mega Zim investments

HARARE - Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote has announced plans to invest in Zimbabwe's power and mining sectors, saying he also intends to construct a 1,5 million tonne per annum cement grinding plant in the southern African country.

The richest man in Africa told delegates at the State House, where he paid a courtesy call on President Robert Mugabe, that he was awaiting the relevant approvals to set up the investments.

“We have already decided on multi-million 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,” said Dangote, whose net worth is estimated at $17,2 billion by Forbes magazine.

The mogul, who earlier in the day met several government ministers, also said Zimbabwe had promised to accelerate the licence and registration processes for the group to start operations “as soon as possible”.

The president of the Dangote Group, which has interests in cement manufacturing, food processing, oil and is gunning to buy English Premier League team Arsenal, is expected to start setting up the 1,5 million tonne per annum plant by the end of the first half of 2016.

Dangote Industries is also expected to invest in Zimbabwean power generation through Black Rhino Group, a $5 billion African infrastructure fund in which US private-equity group Blackstone Group LP is a co-investor.

The major chunk of Dangote’s investments outside his native Nigeria have mostly been in the cement manufacturing sector. He recently commissioned a $420 million cement-manufacturing plant and a 30-megawatt coal-fired plant in Zambia early this month.

As he was in Zimbabwe yesterday, Dangote Cement commissioned its $250 million 1,5 million metric tonnes per annum cement grinding plant in Douala, Cameroon, barely three weeks after the Zambia plant was commissioned.

According to Dangote, the cement manufacturing unit, Dangote Cement — which has expanded capacity five-fold in the last four years — 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,” he said.

“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,” Dangote told journalists in the capital after meeting with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He urged government to open up the country and scrap rigid visa requirements.

Nigeria is classified a “Group C” country in Zimbabwe, meaning Nigerian nationals need to apply for visas before coming to Zimbabwe, which according to Dangote is hampering investment.

“My last call to the minister of Tourism, Honourable Mzembi, is that he works at investing in an open air system so that investors can enter into the country freely,” the businessman said at Mzembi’s Harare offices.

The billionaire’s maiden Zimbabwean visit comes after Dangote Cement last week signed contracts with Chinese construction company Sinoma International Engineering to add 25 million metric tonnes across 11 countries.

Comments (15)

Here is an investor ready to come in. Can government for once clear the necessary paper work as a matter of urgency. This will show other budding investors that Zimbabwe is indeed a changed and willing investment destination. Government here is an opportunity to market yourselves.

Kambiri - 1 September 2015

Mr Aliko Dangote sir do you know we need 51% free shares from your Zimbabwe inverstment???

fury - 1 September 2015

I wonder where Dangote was all these past years and why now? I hope as a buisnes man he knows what he is doing and has something to gain from this. Dangote must know that our leaders are very corrupt and he must not promote corruption in our country. Say no when they want bribes.

Garwe - 1 September 2015

We shall surely know that there is a great and true prophet of God in Zimbabwe. The prophecy made by prophet E Makandiwa of industries and shops running 24 hrs among other declarations starting to unfold.

Archy - 2 September 2015

Where are our Chinese friends. Are they sleeping on the job while the country's economy is in dire straits?

chimbwido warvet - 2 September 2015

thus great but be clear paindigenisation apa .becoz hey.yo policies are harsh

cd wangu - 2 September 2015

l wl be thr to witness such a dvpment

Dennis - 2 September 2015

Dennis I am with you. This will be on the long list of our top talk shows.

Mr Dete - 2 September 2015

Nigeria does not have electricity, railway system, roads etc. Why is Dangote not investing in his own country? Nigeria's population is 180 million and surely Dangote should exploit that market. Why come to a small country like Zimbabwe, with mass unemployment?

Simon Dare - 3 September 2015

Anadakoti ava matsotsi, hona parakuda kukwana nyika irikuvhara macompany iro ndoparakukwanakwana, manje uyu anonyenga mbiti vakada kumubira ndivo vanonyengwa.

bhorosi - 3 September 2015

Nigerians are running away in large numbers to Europe because the political and economic situation in Nigeria is unbearable. Dangote wants visa restrictions between Nigeria and Zim to relaxed. Please please we don't want an influx of thieves into Zimbabwe. Population control in Nigeria is an issue of extreme emergency.

Simon Dare - 3 September 2015

Assuming that Dangote comes in with $2 Billion to invest in Zimbabwe, what impact is it going to have on the Zimbabwe economy considering that its $27 Billion thirsty. Obviously he cant give you all his $17 Billion. So guys lets be realistic and celebrate real gains. Do we really understand what we need as a country. Essar, China Meaga deals, British Business delegation, the French and Americans etc. So what........Stuck

peter matibhiri - 4 September 2015

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