The Zambian government has invited Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to invest in the country’s agricultural industry to bring the African continent closer to food self-sufficiency.
Zambian Commerce and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga made the declaration over the weekend at the $2.5-billion fertilizer complex that the Nigerian billionaire’s manufacturing conglomerate Dangote Group unveiled earlier this year.
The urea fertilizer plant, which has a 3 million metric tonne capacity and is said to be the continent’s largest granulated urea fertilizer complex, was built to meet Nigeria’s needs for fertilizer — a critical component of establishing food sufficiency in Africa’s most populous country.
Mulenga explained that the Zambian government has created an enabling environment for local and foreign investment through significant incentives across key sectors, and that any investment in fertilizer production will not only help the country become self-sufficient in food production, but also grow the Zambian economy, which has an annual GDP of $21 billion.
The minister stated that Zambia has a stable political system, a macroeconomic climate, and investment protection assurances, and that rather than importing fertilizer from elsewhere, he wants the Nigerian billionaire to come to Zambia to establish a plant in the country.
He continued by stating that, given that the leading billionaire has already built Zambia’s largest cement factory, more investment in the nation properly complements Dangote’s interest in it.
More than five months have passed since Dangote opened the doors to his $2.5-billion fertilizer plant in Nigeria as part of a deliberate effort to put the nation on the road to food sufficiency.