Govt entices cement firms to explore African markets

DAR ES SALAAM: The government has advised cement producers to scout for the continental market under the African Continental Free Trade Area in Africa (AfCFTA) window.

Africa consumed 245 million tonnes of cement in 2020 against production of 212.8 million tonnes, according to some literature.

On the other hand, the capacity is projected to increase from 381 million metric tonnes in 2020 to 437 million mt by 2025. This corresponds to a CAGR in the cement capacity of 2.3 per cent to 2.7 per cent.

The Minister for Industry and Trade Dr Ashatu Kijaji advised cement manufacturers in a quarterly meeting with the stakeholders to consider the continent market to sell surplus production.

“Use AfCFTA to sell your excess production, the government is behind you,” Dr Kijaji told the cement stakeholders on Monday.

The country produces an excess of 4.4 million mt of cement a year and exports to a handful of markets in the continent. The production stands at 11.5 million mt a year.

According to website, the country in 2021 exported 47.6 million US dollars to be the 58th largest exporter of cement in the world.

The country mainly exports to Rwanda (30.6million US dollars), Burundi (9.78 million US dollars), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (4.94 million US dollars), Comoros (970,000 US dollars), and Malawi (661,000 US dollars).

In the similar, the country imported 37.2 million US dollars in cement, becoming the 88th largest importer in the world.

Tanzania imports cement primarily from the United Arab Emirates (17.8 million US dollars), Oman (8.14 million US dollars), Saudi Arabia (4.2 million US dollars), Iran (2.41 million US dollars), and Kenya (1.54 million US dollars).

During the meeting, the government reinstated its commitment to tackle cement sector challenges to boost quality and quantity.

The country has six integrated plants and several grinding facilities with a production capacity of around 11.5 million tons.

The three largest cement producers are Tanzania Portland Cement (Twiga), Tanga Cement (Simba) and Dangote Cement.

The AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services and a liberalised market for goods and services to enhance the movement of capital and natural persons.

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