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Dangote reconciles with local community

Dangote Cement, the largest cement factory in East Africa, held New Year celebrations with its employees and local community on the eve of the Ethiopian New Year on September 9 at the premise of the cement plant located 85 km west of Addis Ababa.

More than 1,500 employees, local community members and regional government officials gathered to celebrate the eve of the Ethiopian New Year. During the public riots in 2016-17 that rocked the Oromia Regional State trucks and machineries of Dangote Cement were torched by young protestors.

Dangote did not seek compensations for the damaged properties from the government. There were also some labor issues related to the private employment agencies hired by the company. At the New Year celebration CEO of Dangote Cement Ethiopia, Deep Kamara, asked the local community for forgiveness for the unintentional mistakes his management made in the past. He requested the elderlies to adopt him as a foster child through the Oromo culture “Gudifecha”. The local community members expressed their forgiveness through a round of applause and the elderlies accepted Deep Kamara’s request for adoption.

The elderlies gave Deep an Oromo name “Geleta” and called upon the local community to support him. Officials of the Oromia Regional State also pledged to provide the required assistance to the company.  Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote invested more than USD 700 million to build the biggest cement factory in Ethiopia. All the money was wired from Zenith Bank in Nigeria. He did not take a penny from the local banks in Ethiopia. Due to the foreign currency crunch Ethiopia faced the company was unable to repatriate the profit it makes to Nigeria.

 However, it was only recently that the National Bank of Ethiopia for the first time allowed Dangote Cement Ethiopia to repatriate its fund to Nigeria. The company is now building a PP bag manufacturing plant in front of the cement plant in west Shewa zone, Adaberga wereda reji locality at a cost of 25 million dollars.

The cement bag manufacturing plant, which can produce five million bags per month, will be commissioned in November. The company was also contemplating to build a second cement plant with an out lay of 700 million dollars but suspended it due to the political upheavals.