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Africa CEO Forum: Dangote Calls For More Investments To Propel Africa’s Economic Growth

President of the Pan-African Conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Aliko Dangote has called for increased investments in the African continent to foster its rapid growth and development.

Speaking at the largest gathering of private sector leaders in Africa, the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote emphasized that recent trends underscore Africa’s pivotal role as the future epicenter of global progress.

The business mogul cautioned against the continent’s overreliance on raw material exports, but advocating instead for strategic investments that will propel indigenous industries. He urged African nations to resist the urge to export raw materials but to nurture domestic manufacturing capabilities so as to reduce dependency on imported consumer goods.

“Looking ahead, Africa holds the key to its greatness. I’m not merely investing money but dedicating my entire being to this cause. In Africa, possibilities are boundless. It is like a scratch card; you won’t know what is inside unless you scratch it. For some of us, despite the boom of the capital market in the US, we didn’t really participate, rather we invested in Africa,” he affirmed.

Over the past seven years, Dangote said he had channelled over $25 billion into bolstering Africa’s self-sufficiency in vital sectors such as fertilizers, petrochemicals, and refined products. Notably, he said the monumental Dangote Refinery, boasting a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, stands poised to meet the burgeoning demand across West Africa, Central Africa, and South Africa.

“We have finished our refinery; it is quite big. We believe it is what Africa needs. If you look at the entire continent, there are only two countries that don’t import petroleum products, only Algeria and Libya but the rest import. We need to change that, so we don’t just produce raw materials but finished products and create jobs. One of the things we need to know as Africans is that when we produce raw material and export them while others dump finished products on our continent, what we are doing is that we are importing poverty while exporting jobs. We must change the narrative.

“We just commissioned in February. We are producing jet fuel and diesel. By next month, we will be producing gasoline but what that will do is that it will be able to take most of the African crudes that are being produced and be able to supply refined products not only in Nigeria because our capacity is too big for Nigeria. It will be able to supply in West Africa, Central Africa and South Africa. This is the first phase, we are going to the next phase by next year,” he said.

Expressing concern over Africa’s paradoxical export of raw materials juxtaposed with an influx of imported finished goods, Dangote underscored the urgent need to reverse this trend. He lamented that exporting raw materials while importing finished goods perpetuates a cycle of job loss and poverty.

Founded in 2012, the Africa CEO Forum is a platform through which African decision-makers connect continuously, as well as with international investors and institutions operating on the continent.

It has evolved into an organisation dedicated to facilitating business in Africa through the exchange of ideas and experiences.

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