The Executive Director of United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, has lauded the innovativeness of Dangote Cement-Cameroon S.A.
The UN-Habitat boss commended the pan-African construction company during an international event organised in Yaounde to mark this year’s World Habitat Day, WHD, Monday October 4.
The mega celebration placed under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya, was chaired by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, MINDUH, Célestine Ketcha Courtès, on behalf of the Prime Minister, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, alongside the UN-Habitat boss, Maimunah M. Sharif.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were other high profile guests from around the world including UN Environment Executive Director, Inger Anderson; African Union’s Head of Governance and Human Rights Division, Issaka Garba; Noble Peace Prize Winner, Prof Mohammad Yunus, and a host of Cameroonian ministers.
The UN-Habitat official was charmed by the Dangote Cement-Cameroon’s stand during a tour of the various exhibition stands. Visibly satisfied with the brief presentation of the company and its contribution to the development of the construction sector in Cameroon and Africa by its Director General, Bertrand Mbouck, the august guest, in the company of Minister Ketcha Courtes, expressed undiluted satisfaction.
Commending the company’s slogan, Maimunah Sharif said “I love that word ‘Transforming Africa,’” before stating that “we would love to work with your company to advance sustainable development and zero carbon emission”.
‘Our vision aligns to that of the UN-Habitat’
When questioned about his impression on the remark or the UN-Habitat boss, the Director General of Dangote Cement-Cameroon S.A., Bertrand Mbouck, said the vision of his company aligns to that of UN-Habitat.
“…We are pretty much in line with the philosophy. Our target is to transform Africa through innovation, pure development and sustainable development of our environment. So we fully align with the vision of UN-Habitat,” he stated in an interview with The Guardian Post.
“We invest in innovations of all sectors for instance, in IT. In our Corporate Social Responsibility activity last month, we developed the multimedia centre at Government High School in Akwa, Douala. So, this is one of our key lines of development,” the DG added.
Talking on the raison d’etre of his company’s participation in the commemoration of the World Habitat Day, the pious Dangote Cement-Cameroon boss explained that “when we talk about World Habitat Day especially as the theme of this year is relating to the development of cities with sustainability factors, so too is the vision of Dangote Cement; that of transforming Africa”.
He emphasised that: “Transforming Africa means we have to develop our cities and we have to make sure that our communities protect the sustainability of the environment. So, we are at the frontline when it comes to these thematics”.
Uniqueness of Dangote Cement in the marker
According to the Director General, who is also the President of the Association of Cement Producers in Cameroon, the Dangote Cement products are unique from the other cement producers in the sector. He revealed that their entry into the Cameroonian market raised the bar of cement quality.
“Dangote has a philosophy which we uphold in all local or international markets that we engage in. It is the best cement quality in our markets,” he posited.
Mbouck added that: “When we came to Cameroon, the grade of cement was at 32.5 or 35 but today, we have introduced cement of superior quality grade, which is 42.5. Today we have raised the quality of cement. All these is what characterises us as we make efforts each day to produce more superior grades as possible”.
Maintaining quality and affordable prices
Bertrand Mbouck further explained that despite the recent increase in the prices of construction materials and basic commodities, the company has maintained its quality of cement and also made it affordable to all classes of people.
“We also ensure that the cement is affordable to all, irrespective of their social and economic status and with our trucks, we endeavour to reach rural communities and even the most enclaved villages with our quality and affordable cement,” the Dangote Cement boss said.
He also added that: “Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have absorbed the additional production cost of cement production… Today, cement prices have almost doubled in the market as freight have increased by 400%. So, we are working with the government, not just for Dangote but for the entire industry, for subsidy mechanism to succour the high cost and preserve the industry”.
It should be recalled that on June 21 this year, the Director General of Dangote Cement-Cameroon had committed to boosting the quality and affordability of housing projects for every citizen. He was speaking on the sidewalk of the 40th Annual General Meeting of the Shelter Afrique which held in Yaounde.
While addressing the press, Bertrand Mbouck had assured Dangote Cement-Cameroon’s clients of continuous efforts to boost quality cement for the different construction projects undertaken by Cameroonians.
“We are assuring the customers of Dangote cement that they will always have the best quality cement, most affordable price and our cement will always reach the furthest village in this country. So, we are there to serve them and to help them build houses across the country,” Bertrand Mbouck had assured.
He further said: “People must trust us because we see the production of cement first as a social mission, before being a business mission. So, we intend to transform Africa through urbanisation, infrastructure but also mainly to improve on the well-being of our population. That is why people will always feel excited about Dangote Cement anytime they buy it”.