Why I’m investing in Africa despite US capital market boom – Dangote

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Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Industries Limited, has urged increased investment in Africa to spur its rapid growth and development. Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote emphasized Africa’s potential as a future global hub.

He warned against Africa’s overreliance on raw material exports and advocated for investments that would boost local industries. Dangote called on African nations to develop domestic manufacturing to reduce dependence on imported goods.

“Africa holds the key to its greatness,” he declared. “I’m not just investing money but dedicating my entire being to this cause. In Africa, possibilities are endless. It’s like a scratch card; you won’t know what’s inside unless you scratch it. Some of us invested in Africa despite the US capital market boom.”

Over the past seven years, Dangote has invested over $25 billion in key sectors like fertilizers, petrochemicals, and refined products. The new Dangote Refinery, with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, aims to meet demand across West, Central, and Southern Africa.

“Our refinery is large, and it’s what Africa needs,” he said. “Only Algeria and Libya don’t import petroleum products; the rest of Africa does. We need to change that. Producing raw materials and importing finished products means importing poverty and exporting jobs. We must change this narrative.”

The refinery, which started production in February, produces jet fuel and diesel, with gasoline production starting next month. “Our capacity is too big for Nigeria alone. We can supply West, Central, and Southern Africa. This is just the first phase; the next phase begins next year,” Dangote explained.

He highlighted the need to stop exporting raw materials while importing finished goods, as this cycle perpetuates job loss and poverty. The Africa CEO Forum, founded in 2012, connects African decision-makers with international investors and institutions, facilitating business through idea exchange and shared experiences.