In 2017, Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, registered two companies in Kenya planning to produce cement in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The companies where Dangote was to own 90 per cent, with 10 per cent owned by some “local shareholders”, were Dangote Cement Kenya Limited which was focused on cement production, while Dangote Quarries Kenya Limited would deal with limestone mining.
At the time, a Chinese company had reportedly signed a US$1.487 billion deal with Nigeria’s cement behemoth Dangote Group to build cement plants in several African countries, including Kenya.
Dangote had for long stated his intention to establish a plant in Kenya and had already been given the nod to prospect for limestone in Kanziku-Simisi in Kitui South sub-county by the county government.
With the demand for cement hitting an all-time high across the continent, Dangote was also planning to open a cement factory in Tanzania.
Other plants to be built by China’s Sinoma International Engineering Co would be in Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nepal.
With this increased production capacity, Dangote Cement would add 25 million metric tonnes to the existing capacity of nearly 50 million then.
At the signing ceremony in Lagos, Dangote told reporters that works on the plants would be complete within 30 months, with plans to increase the total cement output to 100 million tonnes by 2020.