The chairman of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) Nigel Chanakira has refuted media reports that Nigerian business mogul and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has snubbed Zimbabwe having promised to pour in billions of dollars in investments.
But international news agency Reuters quotes Dankote as omitting Zimbabwe from the list of countries he plans to expand his vast empire.
The news agency says he indicated that his company planned to build cement plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Zambia. “Another plant will be launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo next year,” he said.
Reuters says Zimbabwe was not mentioned. But Chanakira in an exclusive interview with Studio 7 said ZIA had already processed Dangote’s investment license though his team is still exploring specific areas to invest.
He dimissed the reports of ditching Zimbabwe as, "very inaccurate and mischivious". He alleged that the Reuters interview was done before Dangote visited Harare.
Dangote is considering investments in Zimbabwe’s cement, power generation and coal-mining industries as part of an expansion of his business in the southern African region.
The Nigerian businessman visited Harare in September and met President Robert Mugabe urging him to speed up the paper work to expedite his investment.
He told reporters after the courtesy call that, “we have already decided on multimillion investments in Zimbabwe in three sectors which are power, cement and coal mining. As soon as we get permits, we will hit the ground running.”
Dangote later dispatched experts to Harare to finalize investment deals agreed with Zimbabwe. The team included geologists and lawyers, among other technocrats.
Zimbabwe’s foreign direct investment inflows plummeted by 53 percent to $146, 6 million in the 10 months to October 2014 compared to $311, 3 million recorded in the same period last year.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa in his 2015 National Budget said the foreign capital inflows remained subdued due to the perceived country risk.