Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Nigerian multi-billionaire Mr Aliko Dangote wants quick implementation of the investment deals he has agreed with Zimbabwe as shown by a high-powered delegation of technocrats that arrived in Harare yesterday. The six-member delegation is led by Dr Abdul Mukhtar who said they were here as promised by Mr Dangote during his visit last week.
“We are here to further interests shown by Mr Dangote who was here last week. We will only leave Zimbabwe when all business deals are sealed,” Dr Mukhtar said. Mr Dangote’s team comprises lawyers and geologists who are in Zimbabwe to deal with the legal paperwork required for the investment deals in power generation, coal mining and cement manufacturing to take off.
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The team also includes a Zimbabwean, Ms Rumbidzai Sithole, who is the Dangote Group corporate strategy specialist. Soon after arrival, the technocrats from the Dangote Group held a joint meeting with various ministries that was chaired by Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr Justin Mupamhanga.
The deals in the various fields are expected to take off early next year. The visit comes barely a week after Mr Dangote, the founder of Dangote Group, met President Mugabe, Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko and several Government ministers where he expressed interest to invest in the areas.
Mr Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man with a net worth of over $18 billion according to Forbes Magazine, said he was keen to invest in power generation, coal mining and cement manufacturing. Some of the ministries that were represented at the meeting with the delegation from the Dangote Group were Mines and Mining Development, Finance, Energy and Power Development and Transport and Infrastructure Development.
The team is today expected to have meetings with individual ministries to discuss specific projects. Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Mischeck Sibanda said he was yet to the briefed on the outcome of the meeting.
Mines and Mining Development secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga confirmed the meeting yesterday. He said the meeting was aimed at ensuring that there were no delays in implementing the agreed projects. “We had a joint meeting with other ministries that was chaired by Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Mr Mupamhanga),” he said.
“The meeting was aimed at ensuring that we facilitate all processes that are required so that there are no delays. We (Ministry of Mines and Mining Development) are meeting them tomorrow (today). They have geologists in their team and they will also meet our geologists here.”
Dangote Group has a vast business empire that spans across manufacturing, logistics and power generation, in several African countries, including Zambia where it established a $400 million cement manufacturing plant.
Mr Dangote’s investment deals will be a major boost to the economy as they are coming at a time when Zimbabwe is finalising the implementation of mega deals signed by President Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on his State visit to China last year.
The deals are being implemented under the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset. President Mugabe recently presented a 10-Point Plan meant to set the country on a massive economic recovery path in line with the Zim-Asset targets. 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 implementation of the plan by mooting several mega projects that are set to significantly contribute to the fiscus and employment creation.