Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, commissioned a new cement plant in Mtwara Region owned by Nigeria’s billionaire, Aliko Dangote on Saturday which is set to double cement production in the country and create jobs and trade opportunities to hundreds of Tanzanians.
President Kikwete, speaking at the commissioning, said the new cement plant was inaugurated at the most opportune time when the construction sector is rapidly growing, contributing 12.7 per cent to the national economy up from seven per cent in the past few years.
The Dangote cement plant in Mtwara with a capacity of producing three million metric tonnes of cement per annum is the largest in East Africa and it is part of the Dangote company’s Africa expansion strategy. It is the fourth in the series after Ethiopia, Zambia and Cameroun, while the cement plants due for inauguration this year are located in Senegal and South Africa, with construction works ongoing in several other African countries.
The commissioning of the plant was held at the location of the plant at Msijute area in Mtwara Rural District, about 20 kilometres from town centre. Also in attendance were the Prime Minister of Chad and ministers from Malawi and Mozambique among other dignitaries.
The Dangote cement plant is expected to provide direct employment to 1,500 people and indirect employment to about 9,000 people. Construction of the plant cost about US$600 million, the largest foreign direct investment to the economy of the country which is expected to boost supply of cement domestic market and lower its price.
At three million metric tonnes per annum, cement production at Dangote plant will be about half of total production of all cement factories in Tanzania and it is expected to stimulate the local economy of the Mtwara Region and contribute to the growth of the national economy.
Source: Daily News Tanzania