Pos­i­tive re­sponse from Dan­gote

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - News - Lin­coln Towindo

AFRICA’s rich­est man, Mr Aliko Dan­gote, has in­vited a team of Zim­bab­wean of­fi­cials for crunch talks to fi­nalise agree­ments on the pro­posed multi-bil­lion dol­lar in­vest­ments that the bil­lion­aire in­tends to set up here, The Sun­day Mail has es­tab­lished.

The Zim­bab­wean del­e­ga­tion has hinted it is ready to meet Mr Dan­gote in La­gos, Nige­ria dur­ing the third week of Fe­bru­ary where they will fi­nalise dis­cus­sions on the bil­lion­aire’s in­ter­est in set­ting-up a 1,5 mil­lion tonne per an­num ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, a coal mine and a power plant in Zim­babwe.

The projects are val­ued at US$1,2 bil­lion with US$500 mil­lion be­ing poured into ce­ment mak­ing, US$400 mil­lion into elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion, and US$300 mil­lion tar­geted for coal min­ing. The Sun­day Mail last week gath­ered that the meet­ing which was ini­tially sched­uled for this month has been moved to Fe­bru­ary owing to Mr Dan­gote’s un­avail­abil­ity.

Dur­ing the visit, Zim­babwe is also seek­ing host an in­vest­ment con­fer­ence in Nige­ria, which is Africa’s biggest econ­omy, where top level Nige­rian in­vestors will in­ter­face and get an ap­praisal on in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able lo­cally.

Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Dr De­sire Sibanda will lead the del­e­ga­tion which will also in­clude of­fi­cials from the Min­istries of Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment; Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment; Zim­babwe In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity, the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe and the Zim­babwe Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey.

The Zim­babwe-Nige­ria In­vest- ment meet­ing seeks to broaden the scope of the in­vest­ment visit to in­clude other op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the con­text of In­ter-Africa Trade and In­vest­ment.

While Dan­gote Group has al­ready agreed to meet the Zim­bab­wean del­e­ga­tion, of­fi­cials on both sides are draw­ing up ex­act dates for the meet­ings, the agenda and the visit’s itin­er­ary.

Al­ready, Dan­gote Group has set up Dan­gote Ce­ment Zim­babwe, which is op­er­at­ing un­der Dan­gote Zim­babwe hold­ing com­pany, and has se­cured an in­vest­ment li­cense and reg­is­tered with the Regis­trar of Com­pa­nies.

Dr Sibanda re­cently wrote to Dan­gote In­dus­try Lim­ited Strate­gist, Ms Rumbidzai Sibanda ac­cept­ing the in­vi­ta­tion.

Dr Sibanda fur­ther pro­posed a part­ner­ship be­tween the Zim­bab­wean Gov­ern­ment and Dan­gote Group in host­ing the in­vest­ment con­fer­ence.

Reads the let­ter in part: “Ref­er­ence is made to your re­sponse to our let­ter re­quest­ing to meet the Dan­gote Group, as­sur­ing us that you are ex­pe­dit­ing se­cur­ing the dates for the visit.

“The third week of Fe­bru­ary will suit us per­fectly well but we wait to hear from you on the ex­act dates.

“We are also propos­ing hold­ing a Zim­babwe-Nige­ria In­vest­ment meet­ing along­side the Dan­gote Group visit to broaden the scope of the in­vest­ment visit to in­clude other op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the con­text of In­ter-Africa Trade and In­vest­ment.

“The Zim­babwe-Nige­ria/ Dan­gote Group In­vest­ment meet­ing will present other op­por­tu­ni­ties in the con­text of the new Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones, ex­plain the in­cen­tives avail­able and the role of our Min­istry and ZIA in fa­cil­i­tat­ing such in­vest­ment.

“Please feel free to sug­gest other ar­eas which would be of in­ter­est to the Dan­gote Group and the Nige­rian In­vestors.

“We are com­ing with an in­clu­sive del­e­ga­tion to cover other in­vest­ment ar­eas. In the mean­time, may you also pro­pose the pro­gramme for the visit.

“We are ad­e­quately pre­par­ing for this im­por­tant visit, please feel free to also pro­pose other sec­tors of in­ter­est to the Dan­gote Group to be in­cluded in the dis­cus­sions.”

Re­spond­ing to the com­mu­ni­ca­tion via email Ms Sithole said: “Thank you for your com­mu­ni­ca­tion which was well re­ceived.

“We are work­ing on try­ing to se­cure a date for the del­e­ga­tion to visit. We will be in touch over the next few weeks to com­mu­ni­cate the tim­ing.

“Please ac­cept the as­sur­ances of our high­est re­gards.”

The de­vel­op­ments follow re­cent Gov­ern­ment’s ac­tions that have breathed fresh mo­men­tum into the Dan­gote deals.

Gov­ern­ment has al­ready re­solved le­gal and tech­ni­cal ob­sta­cles around ease of set­ting up and do­ing busi­ness that had stalled progress on the project.

Mr Dan­gote had made spe­cific re­quests that in­clude ex­emp­tions from spe­cific le­gal and reg­u­la­tory con­di­tions re­quired to set up a busi­ness in Zim­babwe.

The projects are now set to take off the ground af­ter Gov­ern­ment met its side of the bar­gain by set­ting aside some of the strin­gent le­gal and reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ment that con­strained the pro­posed in­vest­ments.

In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Min­is­ter Dr Obert Mpofu said last week: “I have ap­pointed Dr Sibanda to head the del­e­ga­tion to meet with Dan­gote.

“The team he leads will in­clude other high level of­fi­cials from rel­e­vant min­istries and the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe as well.

“This time we are not only go­ing to dis­cuss about the Dan­gote deals but also host an in­vest­ment con­fer­ence where will sell in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to other Nige­rian in­vestors.”

The bil­lion­aire in­vestor vis­ited Zim­babwe in Au­gust, 2015 and met Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe at State House where he ex­pressed in­ter­est in in­vest­ing here.

Dan­gote Group has in­ter­ests in man­u­fac­tur­ing and power gen­er­a­tion.

Mr Dan­gote

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