VENTURES AFRICA – Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has urged African businessmen to increase their investment stakes across the continent to spur growth and development in Africa.
According to Dangote, Africa can only be developed through investments by Africans.
The business mogul who has investments in about 14 African countries also urged western nations to promote investments on the continent by partnering with businesses there rather than providing aids. He argued that through investments in the real sector, the region could achieve real growth and development.
“Investors will make more money and it’s better for everyone, and the continent will experience real growth and development,” he said.
Dangote posits that most people do not seem to know much about Africa; rather they rely on historical information or hearsay.
“I am not saying it is as good as elsewhere but investment in the continent comes with almost the highest ROI in the world.”
He added that, “In Zambia for instance, it used to be that Zambians had to hold 51 percent of any business operating in the nation. Today, the law has changed.”
Dangote however acknowledged that though there are business risks in Africa, it (the risk) couldn’t pose major impediment to investments.
“Before, there was the risk that governments might nationalise assets but now we have investment agreements in the country that says if it does get nationalized, they’ll have to pay us.”
In relation to the practice of boosting investment ties in African countries by Africans, one of Dangote subsidiary companies, Dangote Cement, will double its investments in Zambia by opening another $400 million cement plant in Lusaka in 2014, bringing its total investment in Zambia to $800 million.