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East Africa’s cement industry deals with increased competition

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World Cement,

Tanzania Portland Cement Company

Tanzania Portland Cement Company (TPCC) is revising its marketing strategies to cope with increased competition in the market. In a press conference over the weekend, TPCC Managing Director Alfonso Rodriguez said that the company’s market share dropped 20% last year and that recovering that lost market share is a priority. Mr Rodriguez blamed unregulated imports and power shortages for the decline in net income over the first six months of last year. The company is planning to build its own power plant to boost cement production.

East African Portland Cement Company

In Kenya, the board of East African Portland Cement has been making headlines in what chairman Bill Lay has called a ‘side show’. Mr Lay’s appointment as chairman was in dispute because there was a disagreement over the removal from office of the previous chairman, Mark ole Karbolo. Now, a court has ruled that Mr Lay’s appointment is to be upheld and the gentleman in question is to hold his first meeting with the company’s directors next week. In a media briefing, Mr Lay said: “My idea is to deal with issues that surround the company but only after we are sure that we are providing the best product at best prices in the market”. Like TPCC, EAPCC’s market share has also dropped in recent years – a fact that is attributed to the disruption caused by infighting, as well as increased competition on the market.

EAPCC plans to modernise its Athi River plant and potentially open up a new cement plant. The company is also reported to be examining export prospects as the local market is currently in a situation of greater supply than demand. “Prospects are that the cement market will be growing and thus we should be prepared to take the lead in the growth,” Mr Lay told press.

The company’s CEO Kepha Tande also spoke, saying that he has no objection to the chairman’s appointment. He told press that the company has stopped operating in South Sudan due to the ongoing crisis there, but expressed optimism over the market in Uganda and Tanzania.

Edited from various sources by

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