Africa’s Richest Man To Build $400 Million Cement Plant In Kenya
Africa’s richest man, Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, will invest $400 million to build a cement plant in Kenya, the Daily Nation has reported.
Dangote made the announcement on Friday in Nairobi, during a Kenya-Nigeria investment roundtable attended by prominent businessmen from both countries. Dangote is part of a business delegation visiting Kenya with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta had invited the Nigerian President on a three-day state visit in an effort to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Dangote said that his Lagos-listed cement company, Dangote Cement, would start construction of a two million tonne-capacity cement factory within the next few months.
“We have realized that if we really want to do something big in East Africa, we must operate in Kenya. We believe that in the next two and half years, we will be the dominant player in cement in Kenya,” Dangote reportedly said.
Dangote Cement may be the dominant player in the next three years, but it certainly won’t be an easy ride. Dangote will have to contend with Kenyan firms Bamburi Cement and Athi River Mining, the two biggest cement manufacturing companies in East Africa.
A delegation of 150 Nigerian businessmen escorted President Goodluck Jonathan to Kenya to discuss matters of trade and investment with local businessmen and government officials.
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the Nigerian businessmen on Friday, inviting them to invest in Kenya’s economy, and noted that the two governments had signed seven pacts which will simplify and improve trade between the two countries.
Among these pacts, the Kenyan government will grant Nigerian businessmen investor visas ranging from two years to five years and ten years, depending on the magnitude of their investments in Kenya.
The Kenyan immigration department presented Dangote with a 5-year visa on Friday.
Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man and was ranked 43rd on Forbes 2013 fortune pegged at $16.1 billion in March, though his fortune, which mostly lies in Dangote Cement stock, has ballooned to nearly $20 billion in the last few weeks.
Dangote Cement is the largest cement manufacturer in Africa, with operations in 9 African countries, including a plant in East Africa located at Mtwara, Tanzania.-forbes.com