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Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is investing $2 billion in Togo to transform their Phosphate into fertilizers; instead of it being exported as a raw product.

Business mogul Dangote and his plants

An agreement has been signed between the Dangote group and the Togolese government to process Phosphate into Phosphate fertilizers.

Togo is a major producer of phosphate in Africa and has reserves of over two billion. The country hopes that by partnering with Africa’s leading industrialist, they will tap into the manufacturing ability and financial power of Africa’s richest man.

Dangote is currently building the largest Petroleum refinery and fertilizer complex in Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. With its completion, the Dangote group will be the top producer of ammonia in the continent. The Dangote group will provide ammonia produced from its complex to the phosphate plant in Togo. In turn, Togo will use the fertilizers to sell to farmers in the country as well as export to other African countries.

The Togo national development plan aims to structurally transform the country’s economy and building this plant is in line with that objective. Mining work is expected to start before the end of the year. The project is expected to create several thousand jobs at a cost of about $2 billion.

The plant will be constructed in Lome and work is expected to start early next year and commissioned before the end of the year.

Dangote further expands his Pan African move

This is not the first time that the business mogul is investing in other African countries. For instance, he has set up cement plants in 14 African countries. Dangote is a strong believer in transforming Africa’s economy by Africans. Clearly, he is putting his money were his mouth is. More African businessmen need to follow in his footsteps in order for African countries to industrialize their economies. Industrialization will be a key pillar in providing jobs ad eradicating poverty in the continent.

This partnership is a demonstration of what could be achieved with the AFCTA

The Africa continental free trade area (AFCTA) was ratified this past July and came into effect. Dangotes’ partnership with the government of Togo shows what can be achieved if the AFCTA is implemented as designed.

Dangote will provide Ammonia from his Nigeria plant to the Togo Phospate plant he is constructing. The fertilizer produced in the Togo plant in turn will be consumed by farmers in Togo and other African countries.

Africa can be self-sufficient in most of the products she needs if the AFCTA is implemented as planned. The AU and ECA should make sure the rules of the AFCTA are applied to the letter to avoid it being abused by unscrupulous elements.

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African champions in the business, academia and arts sectors are now spearheading the continent’s partnership with UNDP in order to accelerate Africa’s achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).(SDGs).

An alliance of current and future African leaders in business, academia & the arts have come on one big platform to help Africa direct its own development plan.  The African Influencers for Development (AID) initiative, launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is at the core of UNDP’s new relations strategy for Africa, to engage with African champions who are already working to drive sustainable development across the continent.  

UNDP’s partnership approach works through people, products and platforms to create a movement of influencers that cuts across sectors and generations. Groups made up of present and future champions in business, academia, arts and entertainment including youth, women, start-ups and SMEs will partner with UNDP in 46 African countries to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The African Business Map

During the occasion, an important outcome of the AID initiative, the African Business Map, was unveiled. The map is a one-stop shop for curated data on African businesses that identifies business opportunities and enables partners to co-discover and co-create innovative development solutions customized to Africa’s opportunities and challenges. Products such as the Africa Genius video series, the AID lecture series and other knowledge products are ideas intended to be created with the initiative.

Importance of Africans to control the narratives when partnering developmental institutes

African captains of industry, academicians, and other champions are on the ground and know the details of what the challenges are in their respective countries. Hence, they will easily identify the challenges and offer practical solutions. Developmental institutes such as the UNDP have been in Africa since the continent gained independence with little success to show for it.

It is great now that issues facing the continent are being spearheaded by African champions on the ground. This initiative should be extended to all other relations between developmental organizations and Africa.

It is only Africans that will develop the continent because they are the ones living in their countries daily and facing the developmental challenges first hand.