Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Technocrats from Dangote Industries Limited, led by the group’s chief strategist, Dr Abdu Mukhtar fly into Zimbabwe today to choose a site, from the many proposed by Government, where the company will set up a cement manufacturing plant and associated quarries and mines.Also to be concluded during the delegation’s visit are details of some of the company’s investments in Zimbabwe. The company is owned by Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote who has a net worth of over $18 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.
- $1,2bn Dangote projects licensed
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Sources close to the developments yesterday said the delegation included geologists who “were now coming to Zimbabwe for a long time” to quicken the setting up of the cement plant and the quarries and mines for its raw materials.
“The team coming mainly includes geologists who will be in the country for a very long period to do justice,” said the source. “They have to choose the place where the cement plant would be set up. There are a number of areas that have been identified for them and the place for the plant has to be one and that is what they will be working on. As you already know, they have registered a company here and they are now following up for all to see that it is work in progress. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has already licensed them.”
Other than cement manufacturing, the company is also interested in coal mining and power generation. The source said Dr Mukhtar would hold a series of meetings with senior Government officials.
“The group’s chief strategist would meet Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of the deputies to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet as well as other senior Government officials to discuss other areas,” said the source.
Dangote Group has a vast business empire that spans manufacturing, logistics and power generation in several African countries, including Zambia where it has established a $400 million cement manufacturing plant.
Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga last week told The Herald that the latest visit by Mr Dangote’s team would conclude the details of the deals, which are expected to play a major role in economic development in Zimbabwe.
“There are three areas that we are engaging them on and these are limestone, coal and gypsum,” he said.
“We have proposals that we want to give to them when they come in terms of how their investment will be done here. We have already given them areas with limestone, coal and gypsum that we think they will be happy with. So we are waiting for their feedback. So their visit is mainly for finalising the deals.”
Prof Gudyanga said all things being equal, the delegation was expected to announce when operations would start. “The investment is huge because it involves employment creation, capital injection into the economy as well as impacting on downstream industries. There is definitely going to be a lot of multiplier effects,” he said.
Mr Dangote’s investment deals will be a major boost to the economy and they are expected to complement the mega deals Zimbabwe has sealed with China and other countries.
The Chinese deals have seen the Asian country’s leader Xi Jinping last month reciprocating President Mugabe’s August 2014 visit to Beijing, by also coming to Harare.
The deals are being implemented under the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, which will be buttressed by the 10-Point Plan President Mugabe enunciated during his State of the Nation Address last year. The 10-Point Plan cuts across all the key economic enablers and puts to the fore, value addition and beneficiation of the country’s mineral resources.
Government ministries have already started the implementation of the plan by mooting several mega projects that are set to significantly contribute to the fiscus and employment creation.