Breaking News!!! Dangote opens a staggering $400 million cement plant in Zambia!

Nigerian manufacturing conglomerate Dangote on Thursday opened a $400 million (280 million euro) cement plant in Zambia, in one of the biggest investments by an African firm in the country.

"This investment is a clear indication of the confidence you have in this country," President Rupiah Banda said at the opening outside Ndola, in the Copperbelt province. "I am glad to note also that besides the employment opportunities being created, the project will greatly benefit the people of Masaiti and the surrounding districts through transfer of skills, technology and business linkages," Banda said, according to a transcript of his remarks.

The cement plant will employ about 1,000 people once fully operational in about two years, while creating about 6,000 indirect jobs, according to Banda.

The Dangote Group has projected that it would produce 1.5 million tonnes of cement annually.

"I believe that with the coming of the Dangote Group, other Nigerian investors will follow this multi-national company and begin to invest in Zambia and export back to Nigeria and other countries on the continent and beyond," Banda said.

Trade between Nigeria and Zambia is minimal, at about $1.6 million last year.

The investment is a sign of Zambia's efforts to bring in foreign investors, helping sustain the impoverished nation's steady economic growth, at 7.5 percent last year.

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