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Updates from Sub-Saharan Africa

World Cement,

Portuguese bank BPI predicts that Mozambique will continue to grow at a rate higher than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa over the next few years, with cement production, construction and mining playing an increasingly important role in the economy.

In its latest report on the country, BPI said that it expects Mozambique’s real GDP growth to increase from 7.2% this year to almost 8% in the medium-term, due to a boost in activity related to large projects and a rise in public investment. These large projects currently account for approximately 4% of the State’s total revenue and are directly responsible for 10% of the country’s GDP.

According to the report, cement production in the country could triple by 2013, due to investment by Chinese cement companies and a South African cement company. The country’s mining sector is also benefitting from growing coal production in the Moatize and Benga mines in the Tete Province.

First half results

Meanwhile, Bamburi Cement has reported a 26% growth in turnover to KShs 16.4 billion for the first half of this year. The result has been attributed to growth in volumes across both Uganda and Kenya. In a statement released on its website, the company said: “Despite the difficult operating environment amplified by surging fuel, transport and power costs; operating profit grew by 20% driven by increased volumes and cost management measures.”

In addition to its new cement production lines at the Kasese plant in Uganda, the company announced that it will continue to look for opportunities to enhance its product and service offerings through investment in value added products such as the introduction of ReadyMix Concrete and augmenting the Precast Blocks capacity.

Athi River Mining announced a 30% increase in turnover for the first six months of this year to KShs 3.7 billion. This was driven by the increased sale of Rhino Cement following the doubling of clinker manufacturing capacity at Kaloleni, as well as by the commissioning of the cement grinding plant at Athi River earlier in the year. The company has also announced plans to set up a cement production plant in South Africa.

Nigeria to establish a Cement Technology Institute

According to local reports, the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has said that the Federal Government has begun work towards establishing Nigeria as a net exporter of cement to the ECOWAS sub-region. This announcement was made at the inauguration of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and the Project Implementation Team (PIT), which have been given the responsibility to establish a Cement Technology Institute (CTI). Aganga said: “The CTI is being set up to assist the nation to optimise its cement production capacity and capability through acquisition and development of appropriate technology […] The institute would also be the fulcrum for the positioning of Nigeria as a net exporter of cement with the capacity of meeting the needs of the ECOWAS sub-region.’’

The CTI will conduct research and development technology adaptation and human capacity building in the cement sub-sector of the economy. The objective of the institute is to train and enhance workers in cement technology and related fields, as well as undertake R&D in suitable alternative technologies. Joseph Makoju, the Chairman of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), said: “We have high expectations of this institute and we want to see it happen, so we are matured and ready to manufacture cement. We should not only be exporting cement, we should be exporting technology.”

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