Africa’s richest man, the Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote, has announced plans to invest $292.9m in the construction of a cement factory in Yamba, southern Congo expected to add over 1.5 million tonnes of cement annually to the company’s current output of 20 million tonnes.

Following a meeting with the Republic of the Congo’s President, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Dangote stated that the factory would reduce the country’s importation of cement and position it as a major exporter, increasing its foreign earnings and additionally creating over 650 jobs.

“The project will help the country significantly reduce the imports of cement and even enable us become a net exporter of cement while boosting economic growth, development, job creation and income generation,” confirmed Rodolphe Adada, minister of industrial development and private sector promotion.

The news comes a day after Kenya’s East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) announced plans to commence operations in Tanzania by June, where it will directly compete with another $500m cement factory already being constructed by Dangote at Mtwara in south-eastern Tanzania.

Dangote has investment projects across Africa, including in South Africa, Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Mozambique and Cameroon, all worth $10bn, and the Congo plant, due in two and half years’ time, forms part of a cement production programme targeting 50 million tonnes in annual output by 2016.