UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The African construction industry depends heavily on imported building materials. However, this trend is doing more harm than good because imported materials escalate construction costs.
The number one way African countries can curb this dependency is to produce more materials locally. More local production will help create job opportunities for locals and also create more wealth for African economies.
Although there’s a lot of work to be done to reduce this dependency, there are African countries making big strides in manufacturing their own construction materials.
Since 2017, Nigeria stopped importing cement (in fact, the government put a ban on cement importation). Their demand is being met by Dangote Cement, the biggest cement manufacturer on the continent.
Dangote Cement also exports cement to neighbouring African countries like Senegal and Ivory Coast.
Besides its cement plants in Nigeria, Dangote Group has invested several billion dollars to build manufacturing plants and grinding terminals across Africa. Its operations are in Congo, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia, and Cameroon.
Egypt is a leading building materials manufacturer and exporter on the continent. Egypt exports building materials like cement, ceramics, tiles, marble, granite, and roofing to other African countries, Asia, Gulf countries, Australia, Europe, and the Americas.
Over the years, Egypt’s building materials industry has been growing steadily. The Export Council for Building Materials (ECBM) reported that Egypt’s building material exports increased by 20% in 2020, from US$3.299 billion in 2019 to US$3.959 billion in 2020.
China, Italy, India, Belgium, Turkey, France, Germany, and Spain are the major exporters of construction materials and equipment to Africa.
If Africa is to reduce its dependency on building imports, African governments need to invest more in manufacturing plants and also continue interesting investors in the construction material manufacturing sector.
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