Southern African transitions

Published 18 March 2024

The cement markets of southern Africa have been gradually transitioning into more competitive areas with new investments. ICR reviews the young markets of Angola and Zambia as well as the more established market of South Africa. 

While expansion projects are at a low due to overcapacity, market entrants see an industry in transition as

domestic producers adapt to a new landscape (© Dangote Cement)

While Angola, South Africa and Zambia all witnessed a post-pandemic economic recovery, 2023 provided each country with its own set of opportunities and challenges.

In Angola higher oil prices and output coupled with broad-based growth in the non-oil sector enabled the domestic economy to see a pick-up in GDP growth to three per cent in 2022, extending gains made since the pandemic, according to the IMF. As a result, the country has been able to significantly reduce its government gross debt from 86.8 per cent of GDP in 2021 to 66.7 per cent in 2022. However, 2023 proved more challenging in terms of economic growth and reducing government debt with GDP growth slowing to 1.3 per cent and government gross debt increasing again to 84.8 per cent of GDP. Downside risks to the economy include a larger-than-expected drop in global oil prices, a return to global food pressures and adverse weather affecting agriculture.

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