[INTERVIEW] Dick Borsboom, Regional CFO, Dangote Industries - "the African market outperformed mature markets in 2012 by a fair margin".
Please introduce yourself to us - your company and your position there.
My name is Dick Borsboom, Dutch national, worked and traveled all over the world. Currently I work for Dangote Cement Plc. as regional Chief Financial Officer for the South and East African region.
In what countries do you operate?
Dangote Cement Plc. operates in Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Gabon, Liberia, DRC Congo, Benin, Togo, and Madagascar.
Who do you service as a company - the public, private or government sector?
We are a private company and selling to a broad range of companies.
What are the major challenges to operating in the African market today?
There is a whole host of challenges. It ranges from a lack of infrastructure to changing of governments, policy shifts which makes it more difficult to invest for the long term.
As a player in this market, can you proffer a possible solution to these challenges?
Yes, but it requires perseverance, hard work and the will to change behavior and tradition.
What remarkable advancement has your industry made in recent years that you find most outstanding?
I’ll be particular about the Nigerian economy. A couple of years ago Nigeria was an importer of cement. As from 2013 all local demand can be satisfied by local supply. The gain for the Nigerian economy is enormous.
What change(s) would you like to see in your industry that would make your job easier?
Improved investment incentives
Overall, how would you say the African market has performed in 2012?
It outperformed the mature markets by a fair margin.
Any predictions for the market, and particularly in your industry, for the year 2013? Would you, if you had the choice, invest more carefully or more boldly?
The market will continue to grow for building materials. Political and economic stability go hand in hand. We are investing boldly and will continue doing so.
What is the latest from your company? Anything we should look forward to?
Continued growth and expansion across the African continent and beyond.
Regional Chief Financial Officer,
Dangote Industries Limited
Dick Borsboom is a columnist on Africa Business Communities