Africa needs to invest $75bn annually in infrastructure, says Dangote

For Africa to develop and reach its potential,  the continent will need to invest about $75 billion in infrastructure, which includes power, roads, transport and water, Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, has said.

Dangote said this at the annual general meeting held in Lagos, where he declared N8 dividend for shareholders in respect of the financial year ended December 31, 2015.

Breaking down where Africa needs to put its money, Dangote said  the continent would need to invest $38 billion in new infrastructure such as power, roads, railways and water, as well as a further $37 billion in operations and maintenance of these facilities, adding that this was the only way the continent would make a head way.

“Africa is rapidly growing,” Dangote said. “The United Nations estimates that Africa’s population will rise from about one billion today to 2.4 billion by 2015, with the urbanised demography rising from 400 million to 1.4 billion. That is more than four times the current population of the United States of America.”

He, therefore, recommended that to support the population growth, African countries must invest hugely in infrastructure and housing, while also paying special attention to facility maintenance.

Dangote’s position aligns with the World Bank’s which says that the continent will need to make huge investments in infrastructure to enhance growth, support growth sectors and cut unemployment and poverty.

Dangote told shareholders that the World Bank estimated that there was a funding gap of $35 billion each year, which shows the scale of the problem and the level of opportunity for a cement producer operating in Africa.

He said the opportunities had pushed the biggest cement maker in Nigeria to set up plants in Cameroon, Senegal, Ethiopia and Zambia.

“While 2015 was a period of transformation for Dangote Cement even against a challenging economic backdrop, the fact is that we achieved something even more remarkable with our rapid and successful expansion across the continent,” he stated.

Dangote’s 2015 financial year report shows that sales rose by 35 percent to 18.8 million metric tonnes in 2015, from 14 million tonnes in 2014.

Revenues also rose by 25 percent to N491.7 billion within the financial year, from N391.6 billion in 2014. Profit before tax rose by two percent   to N188.3 billion in 2015, from N184.7 billion in 2014. Dangote capped the event with a declaration of N8 dividend to shareholders,  saying that the new plants in Senegal, Ethiopia and Zambia made their first contributions to the business, increasing volumes to 18.8 million tonnes and revenues by 25 percent.

Source: Footprint to Africa

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