Story by Gladys Johnson
Aliko Dangote, the foremost businessman has called for conscious efforts at the growth of the African regional market by African investors and governments to aid rapid growth and development of the Continent’s economy.
Dangote who said this in London during one on one conversation at the on-going 5th annual Financial Times African Summit, where he said that the key to Africa’s economic growth and strength is in the development of the regional markets in Africa.
Aliko also said that Africans must patronize African markets, the reason for the free trade agreements by African nations and the direction to strengthen African markets.
Citing an instance of his own experience, the president of Dangote group referred to the case of the neighboring Benin Republic that imports cement from China while his Nigerian factory is only 35 miles away from the border.
Speaking about the prospect of African economy, the free trade agreement and the availability of huge raw materials to attract investors, Dangote stated that African countries needs to trade with one another.
When asked about the listing of Dangote cement on the London Stock Exchange, he said that the listing might happened in 2019 and among his audience were the President of Ghana, Akufo-Addo, the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo, investors, business magnates and captains of industry.
According to him, he said that all hands are on the deck to complete the process of the listing which he pointed out that it is being looked forward to by the business community.
Lionel Barber, the Editor of a Newspaper, spoke about the difficulty encountered in some countries like Tanzania and Ethiopia but Dangote dismissed the issue of difficulty and re-affirmed that the aim is to always provide jobs. “As an African investor I don’t want any investor anywhere in Africa to have a bad experience. “We need to continue to transform the structure of African economies. “We are going to help Ghana grow its own sugar for the first time.” He concluded