Lloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau—
A delegation of technocrats from Dangote Industries Limited, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is expected in the country next week to conclude the details of his investment in Zimbabwe. Dangote, who has a net worth of over $18 billion according to Forbes Magazine, has already announced his decision to invest in power generation, coal mining and cement manufacturing.
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has already licensed Dangote’s group. Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Professor Francis Gudyanga, told The Herald yesterday that they expected to conclude the details of the deals next week.
“There are three areas that we’re engaging them on and these are limestone, coal and gypsum,” said Prof Gudyanga. “We’ve proposals that we want to give to them when they come next week in terms of how their investment will be done here.
“We’ve already given them areas with limestone, coal and gypsum that we think they’ll be happy with. We’re waiting for their feedback when they come next week and the visit is mainly to finalise the deals.”
Prof Gudyanga said if everything goes to plan, the delegation was expected to then announce when they intend to start operations in Zimbabwe.
He said Dangote’s investment would play a major role in economic development in Zimbabwe.
“The investment is huge because it involves employment creation, capital injection into the economy as well as impacting on downstream industries. There’s definitely going to be a lot of multiplier effect.
“If they’re happy with everything, we expect that the delegation will be able to tell us when they can start operations,” said Prof Gudyanga.
Several other delegations from Dangote’s company have been to Zimbabwe for negotiations that resulted in ZIA licensing the group to operate in Zimbabwe.
Dangote Group has a vast business empire that spans manufacturing, logistics and power generation, in several African countries, including Zambia where it established a $400 million cement manufacturing plant.
Dangote’s investment deals will be a major boost to the economy as they are coming at a time when Zimbabwe has sealed several other mega-deals with China after State-visits between President Robert Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping in August 2014 and December 2015 respectively.
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.