Power tariffs, Asian imports take a toll on East Africa cement market, report
20-11-2018 10:15:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 5183 | Tags:

The East Africa cement market reached a volume of 14.4 Million tonnes in 2017.

The market is further projected to reach a volume of 22.2 Million tonnes by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% during 2018-2023 according to the latest Research and Markets report.

Cement plays a very crucial role in meeting the infrastructural requirements of a region and represents a key factor for economic growth.

In East Africa, the cement industry experienced a sustained growth on account of the booming construction activities in the region.

However, the growth has declined since 2015 due to increased power tariffs, currency devaluations and high interest rates which led to a slowdown in the region's construction activities.

Moreover, imports from Asian countries resulted in an oversupply of cement within the region which further restrained the market growth.

Despite all these challenges, the cement industry is expected to witness an upward trend owing to support from government initiatives, growing construction and housing projects, and investments by new entrants.

With the fast-growing population and rising disposable incomes, there exist vast opportunities in the construction of residential and commercial high-rise building structures in East African countries which will translate into a healthy cement demand in the region.

The rising FDI in East Africa is contributing to the growth of infrastructure industry in the region. For instance, the World Bank is financing the road development programme in Ethiopia so as to improve the country's highway network.

Since this will require a large amount of cement for strengthening the base of the roads, it is projected to boost the demand for cement in the country.

There has been a robust growth in the cement industry due to investments made by the regional governments in public infrastructure.

In Uganda, for example, the development of Entebbe International Airport, redesigning of Malaba-Kampala railway route into a standard gauge line, and the upcoming construction of Bukasa port are supporting the cement industry.

Factors such as increasing urbanisation and continuous private and public construction works have created a huge demand for cement in East Africa. For instance, Rwanda is investing in the development of roads, rail and water transport facilities which will result in a significant demand for cement in the region.

On the basis of type, the market has been segmented into Portland and blended cement. Amongst these, Portland represents the most popular type of cement as it is used in a variety of applications including concrete projects, grout fillings, stucco decorations, etc.

Based on the application, the residential sector represents the largest application segment owing to the rising middle-class in the region. The residential sector is followed by the commercial and infrastructure sectors.

On a geographical front, Ethiopia enjoys the leading position in the East Africa cement market on account of the thriving construction and infrastructure activities in the country. Other major regions include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The market is highly fragmented with the presence of numerous small and large manufacturers who compete in terms of prices and quality.