top of page
Africa to Achieve Fertilizer Self-Sufficiency Within Four Years, Announces Aliko Dangote

Africa to Achieve Fertilizer Self-Sufficiency Within Four Years, Announces Aliko Dangote

20 May 2024

Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group, announced during the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali that Africa will no longer need to import fertilizer within the next three to four years, as the continent will achieve self-sufficiency in potash, phosphate, and urea. Currently producing three million tonnes of urea, Dangote projects this capacity to double to six million tonnes in the next twenty months, matching the entire production capacity of Egypt. This ambitious plan is part of Dangote’s broader strategy to transform Africa's energy and industrial landscape by reducing dependency on imports and boosting local production.

But how realistic is this announcement? AFRIQOM views are:

These are significant statements, and even more noteworthy is the commitment to achieve them within three to four years. This commitment is monumental, especially considering the historical challenges faced in attracting foreign investment for producing phosphatic fertilizers.

The questions that spring to mind are the following:

Regarding urea, Dangote Fertilizer's shipments from their two production plants in Nigeria to African countries are minimal compared to shipments to non-African countries. Therefore, Dangote's commitment to increasing urea production to make Africa self-sufficient means that the new investment will be fully dedicated to African imports. This goal presents another challenge and is only achievable if the right pricing strategy is adopted and African countries are prioritized, independent of other factors. But is it realistic?

What about potash? Perhaps Dangote’s focus is firmly set on Congo’s potash reserves, but that presents another immense challenge based on recent history. Furthermore, achieving this goal within four years would be a Guinness Record-worthy accomplishment. This goal must be pursued while also considering the competitive landscape and offerings from countries like Canada, Russia, Germany, and Spain.

Then there is phosphate. Africa's phosphate production, primarily from Morocco and South Africa, far exceeds its needs, even without considering production in Egypt and Tunisia that is not directed to the continent. Therefore, will increasing production in Nigeria make Africa self-sufficient in phosphate imports? We are not confident. This assessment does not even factor in the complexities of high-nitrogen content fertilizers, the competitive landscape with supplies from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, and the aggressive timeline.

The goal of Africa achieving self-sufficiency in its fertilizer needs is attainable and will be realized eventually. However, we do not believe that a single company can achieve this across the entire continent within four years.

So, will Dangote make Africa self-sufficient in its fertilizer needs by 2028? We want to hear your ideas.

AFRIQOM Market Reporter

bottom of page