Aliko Dangote’s plans to invest billions of dollars in cement, power and coal projects in Zimbabwe extend far beyond President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
Africa’s richest man, Dangote has a net worth of $17.5 billion — more than Zimbabwe’s $13.66 billion GDP– according to Forbes.
The Nigerian tycoon is investing some of those dollars in Zimbabwe at a time when most investors are sitting on the fence jittery due to the country’s hostile business environment.
But Dangote will be getting special treatment, according to the Zimbabewe Independent.
From ZimbabweIndependent. Story by Elias Mambo.
Sources that were in the closed door meetings between Mugabe and Dangote said the Nigerian industrialist would be exempt from the controversial indigenisation policy which requires foreign investors to surrender at least 51 percent (of earnings) to locals and remain with 49 percent or less.
“Mugabe told Dangote of the various investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, in agriculture and the mining sectors especially,” a source said. “He then assured him that his investments will be protected as the indigenisation policy will be waived for him.”
Dangote assured the president that on Monday next week his team which comprises geologists, engineers, lawyers and the chief strategist will be in the country to do feasibility studies as well as paperwork.
“He also said one of his intentions is to construct a plant which will employ close to 1,000 people producing 1.5 million tonnes of cement per year.”
Even though some senior ruling Zanu PF officials want Mugabe to run for re-election in 2018, insiders say he might soon bow out due to health problems or political pressure associated with the current economic meltdown. Mugabe is however known for his stubborn resistance to pressure, although he cannot defy health complications and frailty.
Although China and Russia have signed multi-billion dollar investment deals with Zimbabwe, they have been treading cautiously as they fear their investments could sink in this unstable environment.
Last year in August Chinese leaders told Mugabe in Beijing he needed to resolve his succession problems and ensure leadership renewal, as well as embrace serious reforms to get game-changing investment. The same message was communicated to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he visited China in July.
Read more at ZimbabweIndependent.
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