Another cement factory has been officially commissioned in Cameroon bringing the number of cement companies to three. The Prime Minister, Head of Government happily cut the symbolic ribbon declaring Ciments de l'Afrique Cameroun (CIMAF) officially operational. The Moroccan based company which is effectively present in five different countries in Africa : Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Congo Brazzaville and which has been supplying cement in Cameroon for the past months is injecting 500,000 metric tonnes of the product into the market. Its ambitions are rather high considering that the company intends to step up production to about one million metric tonnes in the near future.
Figures provided by the various cement companies operating in Cameroon puts the production capacity at 3.6 million tonnes. Les Cimenteries du Cameroun (CIMENCAM),the oldest company in the country produces 1.6 million metric tonnes while Dangote Cement Cameroon, commissioned a few weeks ago, produces 1.5 million metric tonnes. Estimated demand for the country today stands at 2.8 million metric tonnes. This certainly entails that supply has already surpassed demand. The situation is expected to even change for the better when the Turkish company goes operational. MEDCEM is seriously constructing another factory in Douala and is expected to inject into the market additional 600,000 metric tonnes of cement. The Limbe cement factory project to be build by South Korea is still in the pipeline.
The influx of a medley of cement factories in the country is seen as a blessing and a timely response to the plea of many Cameroonians. The most disturbing thing however is the complete absence of the application of the law and demand whereby an increase in demand entails a drop in price. So far, the price of a 50 kilogramme of cement remains at FCFA 5,000 for cement from all companies. Cameroonians are still top come to terms with this rather funny situation. Is it an arrangement between the various companies to keep the price at the same rate, is the question on every lip? Is it because of high taxes? Is it bad faith? The danger in all these is the fact that the country is involved in quite a good number of projects, many of which demand the massive use of cement. This explains why projects such as road construction, hydroelectric dam buildings and other public buildings take so much from the State.