Africa’s richest man, Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $400 million in constructing a cement plant in Zimbabwe.
Dangote revealed this on Monday while addressing a group of journalists in Harare on Monday, after meeting with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He also said he intends to invest in coal mining and power generation in the country.
“We’ve already decided to invest into Zimbabwe, that’s why we are here. Any country where you see us visiting it means, yes, we’ve decided to invest,” Dangote reportedly told journalists in Harare.
If government permission is granted, construction on the cement plant will begin during the first quarter of 2016. When completed, the plant will produce 1.5 million tonnes of cement a year.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (R) shakes hands with Africa’s richest man, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote (L) prior to their meeting at State House in Harare, on August 31 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEKESAI NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Dangote’s proposed investment in Zimbabwe could be a major economic boost for the southern African country that is currently grappling with a slump in metal prices and a severe drought that has badly affected its agriculture sector. Agriculture and the mining industry are Zimbabwe’s most important sources of revenue.
Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man with a fortune estimated at $17.4 billion according to FORBES, is aggressively expanding his cement company across Africa. In June, he launched a 2.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) cement plant in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, and commissioned a $250 million factory in Cameroun.