The cement factory, owned by Maweni Limestone Limited, a subsidiary of the Kenya-based Athi River Mining Company, would be the largest of its kind in the Eastern African zone with a production capacity of 1.5Mt of cement.
Assuring investors of support, he said Tanzania would protect their investments because it had signed an international accord to protect investments.
The country was a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Centre for Settlement of Disputes (ICSID) through the accord, President Kikwete said.
He further said that their investment capital was protected against nationalisation and therefore investors in Tanzania were assured of its safety.
On the importance of cement production in the construction sector, he said it played a vital role in the development of several economies in recent years. In Tanzania, the contribution of the sector to the GDP had grown from 5.1 per cent in 2000 to 6.5 per cent in 2007, he pointed out.
"The sector has continued to grow, reaching 9.7 per cent in 2007 from 0.8 per cent in 2000,".
President Kikwete said the statistics were indicators that the sector could continue to grow and contribute more to the country’s economic growth.
"To enhance the sector’s contribution in economic growth, availability of cement was crucial," he said.
He commended the Athi River Company for establishing the factory, effectively becoming the first private company to build a cement factory in Tanzania.