Rwanda, a small landlocked country in East Africa, is making significant strides in revolutionizing its construction industry with a new cement factory.
This development comes as Rwanda aims to become self-sufficient in cement production and meet the growing demand for housing and infrastructure.
The AnJia Cement Factory, located in the Muhanga industrial park in the Southern Province of Rwanda, is a testament to the long-standing partnership between Rwanda and China. It is a subsidiary of West International Holding, which is the African arm of West China Cement (WCC), a prominent Chinese investment group listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
During the inauguration ceremony of the cement factory, Rwandan President Paul Kagame praised China for being a key player in Africa’s infrastructure development. He commended West China Cement and West International Holding for their commitment to self-sufficiency in cement production in Africa and their contribution to Rwanda’s transformation journey.
President Kagame also expressed his appreciation for the high-quality standards set by the AnJia factory. He remarked that the state-of-the-art facility would play a crucial role in meeting Rwanda’s construction needs and reiterated the country’s full support for the project.
The establishment of the AnJia Cement Factory comes at a time when the growth prospects for Africa’s cement industry are highly promising. With a rapidly growing and urbanising population, the demand for housing and infrastructure in Africa is on the rise.
This presents manufacturers with ample opportunities to invest in new markets and create job opportunities in local communities.
However, despite the favourable prospects, the industry still faces challenges that need to be addressed through increased cooperation. Factors such as high production costs, limited access to financing, and inadequate infrastructure pose hurdles to the growth of the cement industry in Africa. Nevertheless, with the right partnerships and support from governments, these challenges can be overcome.
In order to improve the industry’s performance, he emphasises the importance of delivering superior quality products and transitioning to more sustainable manufacturing practices.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the People’s Republic of China, West China Cement, and West International Holding for their significant contribution to Rwanda’s development and Africa as a whole. Anjia will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Rwanda’s manufacturing sector. I believe that our strong partnership will lead to nothing but success,” remarked Kagame during the event.
During his speech at the ceremony, Zhang Jimin, chairman of West China Cement Limited, highlighted that AnJia represents the company’s first investment and serves as a starting point for collaboration between West China Cement and the Rwandan government at all levels.
“The successful groundbreaking ceremony of this cement factory not only marks the beginning of project production and operation but also represents a historic milestone in West China Cement’s investment and development in Rwanda,” Zhang added.
“We will continue expanding our investments in Rwanda, with an overall investment exceeding 100 million U.S. dollars. This expansion will cover various stages of the supply chain. Our ultimate goal is to provide high-quality products at a competitive price that can contribute significantly to Rwanda’s economic and social development.”
At the ceremony, Wang Xuekun, Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, informed attendees that West China Cement Limited invested 50 million U.S. dollars into constructing a high-performance cement grinding plant with an annual capacity of 1 million tonnes in Muhanga industrial park.
“The visionary project will not only foster the growth of Rwanda’s cement industry, but also meet the long-term demand for high-quality cement in reservoir projects and infrastructure construction. With over 1,000 local job opportunities, it will significantly elevate the construction standards of Muhanga industrial park and contribute to the economic development of Rwanda,” Wang stated.
He emphasised that this factory will establish Rwanda’s self-reliance in cement production, reducing dependence on foreign imports and expanding the regional cement market.
Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), highlighted China’s position as the leading investor in Rwanda, surpassing other nations worldwide.
“In just five years, RDB has registered nearly a billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese investments that will generate up to 250,000 jobs for Rwandans. This is a remarkable contribution,” she said. She added that this factory exemplifies Rwanda’s manufacturing and construction sectors’ enormous potential and solidifies its status as an attractive investment destination.