Cimerwa looking to cut costs as it eyes export markets

Cimerwa looking to cut costs as it eyes export markets

Busisiwe Legodi, Cimerwa's chief executive officer, has reaffirmed her company’s commitment to developing export markets in neighbouring Burundi and eastern DR Congo.

Speaking in Kigali last week, Ms Legodi also said that Cimerwa – which is 51 per cent owned by South Africa’s PPC – were looking to cut costs. 

A report by Rwanda’s New Times newspaper quoted Ms Legodi as saying: “We import most of the raw materials, including gypsum and coal, which makes business expensive. We are, therefore, positive that embracing innovative technologies will help bring down the cost of production”.

Also attending the event were Rwanda’s Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, who agreed that energy efficiency would be crucial for the industry. 

The minister also stated: “Cement is (arguably) on the top of the list for resources needed during the development of infrastructure projects. The good news is that cement and concrete (aggregate stones) industries in Africa are the main sources of materials required to implement infrastructure projects on the continent”.

“Upcoming regional infrastructure projects, including the proposed Bugesera International Airport, and planned standard gauge railway line to connect the Northern and Central corridors, will strengthen the linkage to Africa’s East coast for cement trade purposes… Africa aims for a sustainable future, and we hope that this summit will work towards the same for the cement industry”.

Njambo Lekula, the managing director for international operations at PPC, said the growing demand for infrastructure on the continent is an opportunity for sector players to increase production. Mr Lekula, however, argued that catering for this demand will require strong public and private sector partnerships.

Patrick Mugenyi, the general manager of Hima Cement, added that establishing a strong and harmonised regional policy could help protect local manufacturers from competition, especially from cheap imports. The entry of South Sudan into the EAC trade bloc presented industrialists with more opportunities, he said.