Nigeria’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has continued with the expansion of Dangote Cement across the continent. The company’s 1.5 million tonne factory in the Democratic Republic of Congo will begin operations by July this year.
Opportunities for Dangote
Opening a factory in Congo presents great opportunities as the country has one of the lowest cement consumption per capita figures in the world. Cement consumption is estimated at 24kg per capita compared to an average global consumption figure of 513kg. The factory will also increase foreign exchange earnings for the Dangote group, which is currently building Africa’s largest oil refinery.
Gains for Congo
For the Congolese, the new factory could lead to a drop in cement prices. Dangote prefers to sell at the barest of profit margins in order to push large volumes. The company’s size also affords it the ability to undercut the market in order to gain market share. The factory’s capacity is bigger than the combined capacities of the other cement companies in the country. Cement prices in Congo jumped 53% between February and April this year due to a depreciation of the country’s currency. The country’s currency has lost 50% of its value this year, and it is currently seeking IMF assistance. The factory will provided much needed employment, and develop the host company as the Dangote Group has a robust CSR policy.
Dangote cement is currently the largest cement producer in Africa, with annual production of over 42 million tonnes, from 10 factories spread across Africa. Shares of the company closed at N208.7 yesterday up 20% year to date on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).