Cement makers in East Africa are threatened with closure following an upsurge in cheaper imports from Asia and the Middle East.
Producers say importers have taken advantage of the removal of the suspended duty to flood regional markets with cheaper products, leaving them with a shrinking market.
"The situation is particularly grim in Tanzania where imports have grown from two per cent to 20 per cent. In Tanzania, two of the three companies have suspended production and asked employees to go on leave. The situation expected to spread to other East African Community (EAC) countries unless suspended duties are restored," says the East Africa Cement Producers Association in a report presented to Kenya’s Ministry of East African Community.