Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has sent a team of ten to scout new business opportunities in Zimbabwe’s coal and power generation sectors, after initial attempts to were blocked by the Mugabe regime in 2015.
The team, led by geologist Naresh Kumar, are exploring opportunities to set up a coal fired power plant in the nation that has a significant energy deficiency and has been forced to import energy from neighbouring countries, which currently makes up 25% of Zimbabwe’s import bills.
Over one billion dollars would be invested into the country by Dangote, with a visit from the man himself to secure the business deals.
Kumar said: “We are targeting coal mining, but for now we are here to look for the mines and see how many we can get.”
Dangote was in Zimbabwe three years ago, again looking for investment opportunities in energy, mining, cement manufacturing and agriculture, but fail to make a deal after he faced allegations of bribery by Mugabe’s cabinet ministers.
However, this time the team was met by Buy Zimbabwe chairman Anxious Masuka and chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Hwengwere who said they would fully support the investment bid.
Masuka said: “We hope this time around things won’t go off the rail, we hope that our government officials will not employ bureaucratic tendencies that would jeopardise this kind of investment.”
The new Zimbabwe administration has already shown increased support for foreign investment when it announced plans to expand its national power grid with the use of coal fired power stations, with financing secured by Chinese investments.