The largest cement manufacturer in Rwanda, Cimerwa, is seeking buyers for 49 percent of its shares which are owned by the Rwandan government. The company is jointly owned by South Africa’s PPC and the government of Rwanda at 51 and 49 percent respectively.
Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente made the announcement saying that the sale will be done through an auction by the end of March. He did not disclose the reason for the sale nor the value of the transaction. The Prime Minister added, “We have asked our partners if they are interested and the timeline is one month.”
Demand for cement in Rwanda is quite high due to the numerous construction projects in the country. An executive at Cimerwa told Reuters that annual demand for cement in Rwanda grew by 7-8 percent. Cimerwa has an annual production capacity of 600,000 metric ton which hardly meets the demand for cement in the country. The firm’s closest rival is the struggling Kigali cement company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kenya’s ARM cement.
Despite the high demand for cement in the East African region, Cement manufacturers have been struggling due to cheaper imports from large manufacturers as well as tough operating environment.