The first, Aliko Dangote, is well known in sub-Saharan Africa. His status as the richest African businessman and the second most influential black figure in the world makes him a true star or even a hero, according to some.
The second Anas Sefrioui is a highly respected figure in Morocco, but little known to the general public in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. With his group Addoha, however, he is at the heart of many African transformations in the fields of housing and construction materials.
The two men have one thing in common, they set out to conquer the African cement market. Dangote Cement, a real juggernaut on the Lagos Stock Exchange, now stands up to world leaders on the continent, in particular the French Lafarge and the Swiss Holcim, which have now merged. Dangote Cement is present in more than 15 African countries and produces 45 million tonnes of cement, a level that its managers want to increase to 100 million tonnes.
The Anas Sefrioui group is present in the African cement market with its Ciments de l’Afrique company (CIMAF). Although more modest than Dangote Cement, it is still found in 11 African countries with nearly 12 cement factories, for a production of nearly 9 million tonnes. The group is also asserting its ambitions for expansion.
A new common thread that is now emerging between the two businessmen is that of agriculture. Admittedly, Dangote was already in the agribusiness sector, with a factory producing sugar, or even flour. But this time it’s all about feeding Africans. The Nigerian group recently announced a direct commitment of $ 3.8 billion over three years in the production of rice, sugar and dairy products. The aim is to fill the supply gap for 190 million Nigerians who have to import these different foods.
Anas Sefrioui, on the other hand, seized the opportunity of the Senegalese government’s plan to reduce imports, again of rice. Through its subsidiary Afri Partners, it announced a commitment of nearly 114 million euros for the production of nearly 115,000 tonnes of rice per year. More recently, an agreement has been reached with the government of Ivory Coast, with a view to rice production, which could reach 125,000 tonnes per year, when the project has reached maturity.
After having greatly contributed to increasing the supply in the African cement market, at the same time democratizing prices, Dangote and Sefrioui now want to help reduce the supply gap in essential food products in Africa. Did the two men have the same dream? Evidence from the field seems to offer an affirmative answer.