By Franklin Alli
CROSS — Border or intra-African investments also known as Africans investing in Africa (AIA) is growing by more than 30 percent per annum.
According to Ernst & Young, South Africa is the largest domestic investor in the continent (Shoprite, Standard Bank, bottler Coca-Cola Sabco and telecom group MTN), accounting for 35 per cent, followed by Kenya with 16 per cent and Nigeria with 11.6 per cent.
EY further noted that between 2003 and 2011, intra-African investment into new FDI projects in Africa grew at a 23 percent annual compound rate, Since 2007, that rate has increased to 32.5 percent, more than double the growth in investment from non-African emerging markets and almost four times faster than FDI from..
The share of intra-African investments in the continent’s FDI reached a record 23 per cent last year, up from just 8 per cent five years ago, and it set to accelerate further, as local firms seek new markets,” EY says in a new report.
More facts available to Vanguard showed that Dangote Cement Plc, controlled by the continent’s richest man Aliko Dangote, is accelerating manufacturing investments in the continent.
The company is investing $5 billion to build an African cement empire, with factories in Cameroon, Senegal, Ethiopia, Zambia and South Africa.
Recently, its $300 million Greenfield cement plant in Senegal rolled products into the market in that country.
Katyen Jackden, Ambassasor of Nigeria to Senegal and Mauritania, said “I am very proud of what Dangote is doing by promoting intra -African investments, promoting regional development, industrialisation and cohesion among African nations with his investments.’’
“We need more Africans like Dangote to be at the forefront of promoting intra- African investments,” she stated.
According to her, Dangote Cement has done Nigeria proud with the commencement of production and that she was happy that Dangite Cement has been instantly accepted in the marker because of the high quality grade.
Senegal Director of Mines, Ousmane Cisse, lauded the doggedness of the Chairman of Dangote Cement; Aliko Dangote has seen the plant through despite various setbacks.
“Dangote Cement is a great project for the country and the consumers. We expect that the investments will not only make high quality cement available to our people, it will increase the purchasing power of consumers to help the country develop more and more.
Reduction of poverty
“As a government, we look forward to get more revenue from the sector, and for our local communities surrounding the plant, more jobs that will reduce poverty and generate more upstream and downstream activities. Our SMEs will be developed and the multiplier effects on our industries, the government and to all stakeholders will be beneficial,” he stated.
Serigene Dieng, Marketing Director, said that Senegal with 14 million people and a growing GDP of +4 percent as of 2013 has cement market of 3MT pa and consumption rate of 230kg.
“We spent two years talking to the market about the new product because 42.5 grades were not known to the majority of the cement customers except some few corporate customers. 95 percent of cement consumed by the people is 32.5 grades. We are coming into the market to change the paradigm by offering superior quality cement at the same price with competitors. We will start educating the people that not all cement is the same,” he said
Serigne Mbacke, Distributor West Africa: noted “We are already exporting 18 percent of the production to Mali and the total export figure is 40 percent; if exports to other countries are combined. The demand for Dangote cement is everywhere; we have people coming from Gabon and Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau coming to buy the product. The demand is high because of the quality. Looking at other brands of cement in the market, we don’t have competitors now in the area of quality –how can you compare 32.5 to 42.5? I foresee a situation whereby in the next two years, competitors will close shop and go elsewhere.”
Luk Haelterman, the Country Head of Dangote Cement, said ‘“ Dangote started production January this year. We are doing three thousand metric tonnes of clinker per day and four thousand metric tonnes of cement per day; after three months of production, we are at a level we never expect,” he stated.
According to him, Dangote has become the biggest and best because we remain the only company producing the 42.5R, which is better than what we met on ground, which is the 32.5R.”