Dangote Group is set to create thousands of jobs after it opened a cement factory in Cameroon, according to its Managing Director Onne Vander Weijde.
Weijde told CNBC Africa that about 150 to 300 jobs have been created directly due to the Dangote factory in Cameroon and many more indirectly.
“Thousands of jobs are being created [indirectly] through having this factory here,” he added.
(READ MORE: Dangote urges Nigeria to match ballooning population with infrastructure)
Dangote Cement’s factory has the capacity to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of cement annually.
Weijde said the new plant in Cameroon would help save the much needed foreign currency and shed the burden of foreign imports.
“Africa is still importing cement from all the continents so there is a clear for a locally produced heavy material,” added Weijde.
“It’s more environmental friendly and cheaper to produce.”
He said Cameroon was a good opportunity for the Dangote Group because it can now take advantage of limestone reserves in Nigeria which we are lacking in Cameroon.
“We have built clinker bans in Nigeria and by exporting clinker to Cameroon we earn foreign currency in Nigeria and by producing cement within Cameroon we save foreign currency,” he said.
“We produce locally at a better quality which makes us less dependent on other continents. We believe in the future in Cameroon.”
Weijde said Dangote was adding infrastructure to Cameroon as it is important for us to have reliability and run our factory at full capacity.
Dangote’s expansion into Cameroon is informed by the group’s growth projections
“If we look at South of Saharan Africa, the total cement demand is about 100 million tonnes; we think the next decades to come the demand will grow to about 300 million tonnes.”