Home » Burundi asks Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote to establish cement plant

Burundi asks Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote to establish cement plant

by Omokolade Ajayi

The government of Burundi, a country in East-Central Africa, has invited Dangote Cement Plc to set up shop in the country as part of an effort to drive industrial development.

Dangote Cement is the flagship cement business of Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote.

The news comes as Burundi, one of Africa’s least industrialized economies with an annual GDP of $3 billion, seeks to grow and develop sustainably its economy after years of economic turmoil caused by ethnic strife during the Burundian Civil War, which began in 1993 and ended in 2005.

According to Global Cement, the government stated during a meeting with Dangote Cement on Fri., July 8, that it is prepared to sign a letter of credit with the cement maker to establish a cement plant in the country as the group seeks to develop its business in the country’s northwestern region, which has abundant limestone reserves.

The move is consistent with a previous statement by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who advocated for a better tomorrow for the Central African country during a ceremony commemorating its 60th anniversary of independence.

 “After 60 years, Burundi is no longer the same, it is a new Burundi, it is for this reason that we must cherish the chapter that we have started, we must not deviate from the good path that we have taken,” he stated. 

Burundian delegates who met with executives from the cement behemoth said the government hopes to provide a long-term solution to the country’s continuing cement shortage, urging the cement maker to develop “modalities for the supply of construction materials” to the country.

Dangote, the world’s richest Black man, owns an 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement, with a total capacity of 51.55 million tonnes of cement per year across 10 countries.

In addition to the operations of other companies such as BUA Cement and Lafarge Africa, Dangote Cement has made significant contributions to reducing Nigeria’s reliance on imported cement, transforming the country into a net exporter of cement goods.

The group reported its highest-ever revenue of N1.38 trillion ($3.31 billion) in 2021, resulting in a profit increase of more than $870 million as the company benefits from a sustained increase in cement demand.

The group’s volumes have recently risen to nearly 30 million tonnes per year, while its operating capacity has tripled to 51.6 million tonnes per year, allowing the cement company to export cement to five African countries.

Dangote Cement reported a profit of N105.9 billion ($255 million) in the first quarter of 2022, up 18 percent from the previous year, and group earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization of N211 billion ($508 million), up 18.6 percent.

On the operational front, the group is ramping up production at its Okpella plant and is making sound progress toward establishing grinding plants in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

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