Nigerian multinational cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, has been commended for its investment in the Senegalese cement industry and described as one of the key contributors to the development of the francophone West African country. The cement plant located in Pout, 60 kilometres away from Dakar, currently holds a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year, producing higher quality cement to meet the country’s rising demand.
Commenting on the contributions of Dangote Cement’s investment in Senegal, A.K Zanna, Charge D’Affaires, Nigerian Embassy in Senegal, said Dangote’s cement investment in Senegal since its establishment in 2015, has contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and also created huge employment for the Senegalese citizens through its export revenue and social investments in the country
The envoy also commended the company for contributing to the well- being of its host and surrounding communities through its corporate social responsibilities programmes. The company, he noted, has done a lot for the communities where it is located.
“I know that the company has built maternity clinics, health centres, schools, awarded scholarships to students, and created avenue for poverty eradication in the country. The company is also fully involved in women empowerment. Dangote Cement’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes are having a direct positive impact on the host communities. So, by extension, the company is shouldering some of the responsibilities of the Senegalese government,” he said.
Zanna urged Dangote and other Nigerian investors to explore the investment opportunities available in the Senegalese salt mining and real estate industry, noting that there are valuable investment opportunities in both sectors.
“Senegal is becoming a vibrant economy and the country is building a new city at Diaminadio. There is opportunity for investment in real estate in the Senegalese economy. He also hinted that Senegal will begin production of crude oil possibly in 2023, creating opportunity for many Nigerians with technical expertise in the oil sector to make investments,” he divulged.
On his part, Luk Haelterman, country manager, Dangote Cement, Senegal, attributed the success of the company in Senegal in the past five years to the company’s investment in quality production and introduction of what is commonly referred to as the ‘Senegallisation’ Policy.
According to him, the company’s introduction of 42.5-degree brand of cement at affordable price to the major market in Senegal upon entry has enabled the company gain the desired market share in the country.
“ When we entered the market, it was characterised by 32.5-grade cement. We supplied 42.5-grade cement at affordable price. Putting up quality gave us a chance to enter the market,” he noted.
He also disclosed that Dangote Cement Senegal has developed a culture of supporting local employees and prioritising local hiring, which allows local country employees to have the necessary knowledge, experience, and support to take up key roles within the company.
The policy, he said, aims to gradually reduce the number of expatriates employed by the business by enhancing the skills and capacity of Senegalese employees to take up leadership positions.