AFRICA’S richest person Aliko Dangote is still interested in investing in Zimbabwe and had planned to meet Zimbabwe authorities at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) recently held in Durban, South Africa.
Dangote made a high-profile visit to Zimbabwe in October 2015, meeting the then President Robert Mugabe. At the time, the business mogul was said to be eyeing construction of a US$400 million cement plant in the country.
“As soon as we get things right, we will move. We are not here looking to invest. We have already made up our minds to invest so we are here and we will invest,” Dangote reportedly said at the time.
But close to six years later, Dangote is yet to set up shop in the country. He is, however, still interested in investing in Zimbabwe according to members of his staff that were attending IATF.
The business mogul had planned to meet with President Mnangagwa in person on the sidelines of the IATF in Durban. The passing of his brother Sani Dangote, however, forced him to cancel the trip.
“He is very much interested in investing in Zimbabwe and was planning to meet Zimbabwean authorities on the sidelines of IATF.
“All the preparatory work had been done. The plan was that if President Mnangagwa was to attend IATF, then Dangote himself would come.
“Unfortunately, bereavement in his family made the trip impossible,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Sani Dangote, who died on November 14, 2021 after a brief illness in the United States, was the group vice-president of Dangote Industries Limited.
While the Dangote deal was previously linked to setting up a cement plant, the sources said there was more to the Dangote group than just cement.
“We have realised that most people associate the Dangote group’s investment in Zimbabwe with setting up a cement plant, but there is more to the group than just cement.
“We should start thinking about how we can benefit from the value chains across the Group.
“There is already a cement plant in Zambia, we could think about increasing coal supplies to that,” said the source.
“There is also the Dangote Sugar Refinery, how do we benefit from the associated value chain?” the source asked.
Dangote Industries Limited is a diversified and fully integrated conglomerate with vibrant operations in Nigeria and Africa across a wide range of sectors including cement, sugar, salt, condiments, packaging, energy, port operations, fertilizer, and petrochemicals.
Its core business focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the ‘basic needs of the populace through the construction and operation of large-scale manufacturing facilities in Nigeria and across Africa.