Dangote Targets 30% of Cameroon’s Cement Market

Dangote Group says its targeting to control more than 30 per cent share of Cameroon’s cement market by the close of the year given the acceptance of its brand, Dangote 3X cement, launched into the market earlier this year.

The company made an inroad into Cameroon in 2012 with the commencement of the construction of a 1.5 million tonnes capacity per annum cement plant in Cameroon’s commercial city of Douala at an estimated cost of $150 million.

Abdullahi Baba, General Manager, Dangote Cement, Cameroon, who took visiting Nigerian journalists on a tour of the plant yesterday said although production was not yet at 100 per cent installed capacity given ongoing test running of some equipment, the nationwide acceptance of the Dangote cement brand was enough indication that the company could emerge a market leader in the years ahead, above other existing competitors.

Yet the impact on the Cameroonian economy has been enormous with about 290 direct staff employed so far. “When operated at full capacity, about 500 full time staff would be employed and an estimated 2,000 indirect jobs would also be created,” Baba said while adding that there are also plans to export products of the plant to Chad and other neighbouring countries from the Duoala facility in the years ahead.

“The site we acquired was a sport playing field and today we have converted it into a $150 million valued cement manufacturing plant, we have created an economic centre in Duoala because 30 per cent of the raw materials is sourced locally here,” Baba said.

“We commenced production in March and with an aggressive marketing activity, I can assure you that we are here for a long term business with what we are doing.

“Despite the high quality we have brought into the country, our price remains the lowest in Cameroon and the product has been widely accepted at such a short period. We are targeting about 30 per cent of the market share and we also target exporting about 30 per cent of the total production from this plant,” he added.

At 4,500CFA about N1,100, the Dangote Cement brand no doubt remains the cheapest in Cameroon. Baba, however, said the company was grappling with how to contend with some middlemen who have capitalised on the high quality of the cement given out at a far cheaper ex-depot price, to sell to final consumers at a higher rate.

“Many block makers and Masons in Duoala now use our cement exclusively and they say they like the fineness, colour, high yield and high quality. Although in the country, less than 15 per cent of the outlets have it now, we intend to double our distribution drive and to reach 50 per cent by the end of this April.

“But we will work to monitor our distributors as we sell more into the market because middlemen will capitalise on the high quality and low factory price we are giving them to sell at higher retail prices and this won’t do our business any good,” he added.

The Douala plant has not only revolutionised the cement industry in Cameroon, but has also helped stimulate the Eastern African economy. The plant remained the most modern in Cameroon because of the latest technologies used in the construction from Germany, USA, France and put together by the renowned plant engineers, Sinoma.

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