By Dipo Olowookere
Foremost Nigerian businessman, Mr Aliko Dangote, has assured investors that the listing of his cement company, Dangote Cement, on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would be finalised soon.
Speaking during ‘One to One Conversation’ at the 5th annual Financial Times African Summit, Mr Dangote disclosed this might happen next year.
According to him, all hands are on deck to complete the process of listing, the development which he said is being looked towards for by the business community.
At the event attended by investors, business magnates, captains of Industry and African Heads of Government, including President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Ali Bongo of Gabon, Mr Dangote also stated that efforts must be made at deepening African regional market by African investors and governments to aid rapid growth and development of the continent’s economy, emphasising that “regional markets in Africa must work.”
He said Africans must patronize African markets which is why the free trade agreements by African nations is the direction to go to strengthen African markets.
Citing an instance of his own experience, the president of Dangote group referred to the case of neighbouring Benin Republic where the country continues to import cement from China while his Nigerian factory is only 35 miles away from the border.
“We need to trade with ourselves”, Mr Dangote stated as he spoke glowingly about the prospect of African economy, the free trade agreement and the availability of huge raw materials to attract investors.
Prompted by the Editor of the Newspaper, Lionel Barber to speak about difficult markets like Tanzania and Ethiopia, Dangote dismissed the issue difficulty and re-affirmed “our aim is to always provide jobs and worth. As an African investor I don’t want any investor anywhere in Africa to have a bad experience.”
Mr Dangote repeated his central mantra for African growth urging the reduction of exports of raw materials to other continent but create greater wealth within African economies.
“We need to continue to transform the structure of African economies,” the business mogul said, alluding the to his company’s entry into the Ghana sugar market, pointing that he is further expanding his sugar business to Ghana for the main reason of helping to revitalize its economy. “We are going to help Ghana grow its own sugar for the first time.”
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