Kenya’s cement consumption is projected to increase from the current 150kg to 300kg per head in Kenya on the back of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) according to Bamburi cement CEO, Seddiq Hassani.
He said the doubling in consumption will bring Kenya’s cement uptake in line with North African countries.
The Bamburi cement chief further expressed optimism that cement consumption in Kenya will to triple over the next 15-20 years.
Hassani said Kenya will need cement to take advantage of opportunities arising from the AfCFTA due to the expected surge in demand for exports, which will create a spike in infrastructural demand.
“There’s a strong willingness now to develop infrastructure,” Hassani told the African Report.
He said the long-term demand for cement in the country as not been affected much by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, cement consumption in the country grew by 11 per cent during the first eight months of the year.
Cement consumption is also expected to rise based on the huge gap in housing which is yet to be filled.
Historical cement demand growth was interrupted by the introduction of cap rates whose effect was counterproductive to many industries as lenders sought read a cautionary tale.
Hassani claims that the strong demand seen this year is the result of the cap rate law repeal in late 2019.
Kenya’s cement consumption has reverted to pre-Covid-19 levels according to Hassani.
The positive long-term prospects have attracted other players in the local cement ballpark. In October, Nairobi Business Ventures, a shoe retailer announced plans to enter the industry with a million-tonne capacity integrated cement plant.
Yet, as Hassani says, there is an over capacity beyond elimination by consolidation in the local market. Still, the long-term consumption prospects explains it all.