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Nigerian cement producer Dangote Cement has announced plans to invest about $4-billion to nearly double its production capacity in Africa over the next few years. Dangote, Africa's biggest cement producer, has an annual production capacity of 45-million tonnes.

Aliko Dangote embarks on African expansion“Our focus in the next three years is that we should be going toward 80-million metric tonnes of cement production,” a senior executive at the company, Edwin Devakumar, told Reuters. According to him, Dangote Cement is looking to expand across the continent – an expansion that will be funded through loans from Chinese and Indian banks and cash flows.

Dangote Cement plans to build a 1.5-million metric tonne cement plant in Congo with three more West African plants planned in the near future. The company is adding three-million tonnes to its single biggest plant located in Nigeria, which has a capacity of 13-million tonnes, within the next two years, Devakumar says.

Nigeria's biggest listed company has previously said it wanted to achieve 100-million tonnes of production capacity by 2020. To that end, the company has partnered with China's Sinoma Engineering to build cement plants across the continent.

The company’s holding entity, Dangote Group, has also announced plans to invest $3.8bn in sugar and rice, and $800m in dairy production in the next three years. Bloomberg reports that the conglomerate plans to increase its production of sugar to 1.5 million tonnes a year by 2020 from 100 000 tonnes currently, as well as seeking to add 1 million tonnes of rice. The company also plans to have 50 000 head of cattle producing 500 million litres of milk a year by 2019.

Dangote plans to cultivate 350 000ha of land for sugar cane and add 200 000ha for rice, according to Devakumar. The company has ordered five plants for sugar milling and 10 for rice from Switzerland to be located in the north of Nigeria.

“Dangote is at the planning stage to invest in other agricultural projects including production of soybean, oil palm, palm kernel and corn. We will support rice cultivation by supplying high-yield seeds, pesticides and fertilisers to contract farmers,” he says.

Image credit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliko-dangote-88085b146/

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