The richest man in Africa, Nigerian Aliko Dangote, has received clearance from the Zimbabwe Investment Authority to invest up to $1.2-billion (R16.4-billion) in that country.
Dangote’s interest in Zimbabwe became known in September when he visited the country and met President Robert Mugabe and his deputies, Emmerson Mngangawa and Pelekezela Mphoko, among other ministers.
“From the Zimbabwe Investment Authority perspective, we have already completed the licensing of the three projects of the Dangote Group,” said ZIA chairman Nigel Chanakira.
The Dangote Group has interests in coal mining, cement manufacturing and power generation.
Dangote has been scouting for investment opportunities across Africa. In August he announced that he would double his investments in Zambia to $900-million.
Already he has a cement plant worth $450-million in Masaiti, about 500km north of Lusaka.
The plant is expected to produce 1.5million tons of cement annually when it reaches full capacity by the end of this year.
If the investment goes ahead, it would breathe life into Zimbabwe’s ailing economy, which is in dire need of foreign direct investment.