Athi River looks to south Sudan

Athi River looks to south Sudan
Published: 20 January 2011

Athi River Mining said it is looking to establish a market in an independent south Sudan if it splits from the north, which it expects could grow significantly faster than the rest of east Africa.

East African nations could reap trade and investment opportunities worth billions of dollars if south Sudan, which needs building almost from scratch, splits from the north as expected following a secession referendum this month.

"We are looking at establishing a market share in south Sudan by increasing our distribution network to move our products, since we now have the production capacity (to cover that market)," Athi River’s managing director, Pradeep Paunrana, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Athi River, which has been distributing cement in south Sudan for the last four years, anticipates heavy investment in infrastructure and increased aid flows will spur economic growth at a higher rate of growth than other east African economies.

"We expect the growth rate in south Sudan to be higher than the rest of east Africa ... in the region of 20-25 percent year-on-year," he said.

"As the market grows, we will be looking at south Sudan as a possible location for a new plant and certainly that is a market that will grow."