PPC CIMERWA Bags of cement in Rwanda.Photo Supplied

INTERNATIONAL – Rwanda’s government aims to put its 49 percent stake in the country’s biggest cement maker, Cimerwa, up for sale this month, the prime minister said on Saturday.

The company, which is 51 percent owned by South Africa’s PPC, has an installed annual production capacity of 600 000 tons.

“We have asked our partners if they are interested and the timeline is one month,” Edouard Ngirente told a meeting of senior officials broadcast on national television. “By the end of this month we will auction (the stake).”

He said PPC had yet to specify if it was interested in the stake, which he gave no valuation for, adding that other buyers would be sought if necessary.

A construction boom in Rwanda has driven up demand for cement as the government builds roads, power plants and a new international airport. Private developers have also been building new houses and office blocks.

The head of Cimerwa told Reuters in July that demand for cement was growing at 7 percent to 8 percent annually as new building projects come up. Rwanda also imports cement from neighbours Uganda and Tanzania.

Reuters