Leading cement maker Dangote will list its shares on the London Stock Exchange in 2019. Chairman of Dangote Group Aliko Dangote made this known in London during “One to One Conversation” at the on-going 5th annual Financial Times African Summit. According to him, all hands are on deck to complete the process of listing. The businessman also made a case for increased intra-Africa trade.
Although his country Nigeria is one of the countries yet to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) which is among other things aimed at encouraging improved intra-Africa trade, Dangote said it was very important for African investors and governments to aid rapid growth and development of the Continent’s economy deepening African regional market.
He stressed the need for Africa to buy from Africa, hence the need for free trade agreements by African nations.
“We need to trade with ourselves,” Dangote said, adding that an Africa that trades with itself, utilizing its huge raw materials to produce enough for everyone would attract investors.
He wondered why Nigeria’s neighbour Benin Republic would continue to import cement from China while his factory in Nigeria is only 35 miles away from the border.
“We need to continue to transform the structure of African economies,” he said, adding that it was his company’s commitment to doing this that made it enter the Ghanaian sugar industry. Dangote began exporting sugar to Ghana for more about five years, with a company representative in 2013 saying that the company’s sugar was better than the ones imported from Argentina, Mexico, North America and Brazil.
Local sugar production suffered a huge blow after the collapse of Komenda and Asutuare Sugar factories in the country, with importation the only option to satisfy local demand. Ghana’s President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo says the government is in the process of finding a strategic investor to revive the “debt-ridden and idle” Komenda Sugar Factory. With Dangote stressing the need to do more in the Ghanaian sugar market, he might consider investing in Komenda. The businessman says he is further expanding his sugar business in Ghana for the main reason of helping to revitalize its economy.
“We are going to help Ghana grow its own sugar for the first time,” he promised.