38 years of expertise worth a century – a CIMERWA Plc case study

PPC Africa’s story starts on the outskirts of Pretoria, South Africa over 130 years ago. It was the first cement plant established in South Africa and over the years it has made its mark over Africa.

With bold and large steps befitting its totem animal, the elephant; PPC gradually established a broad footprint across Africa, with production plants in Rwanda, DRC, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia & South Africa.

PPC Africa shared its extensive technical know-how, its diverse product portfolio and its experience in the durables industry to grow each production plant in its respective market.

38 years ago, CIMERWA Plc opened the doors to its production plant in Rwanda. The first cement production in the country, the company started out with a capacity of over 50,000 tonnes per annum. In 2015, PPC acquired a 51% stake in CIMERWA, marking the start of a beautiful collaboration, with PPC lending the full force of its experience to the task of growing the company.

CIMERWA Plc later commissioned the construction of a 600,000 tonnes per annum capacity plant and embraced a new corporate identity – ‘Strengthening Rwanda’, this was the start of a new journey for the company that would lead it to where it is today.

Currently, CIMERWA products – SUREWALL, SUREROAD, SURECEM & SUREBUILD are available everywhere in Rwanda. The company has established itself as one of the biggest in the country; a fact cemented by its recent listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange by Introduction.

True to its Strengthening Rwanda promise, CIMERWA has been involved in a series of social outreach initiatives that cut across key economic sectors including infrastructure, health, education, trade, sports and more. These initiatives under the CSI banner of “BecauseCIMERWA” were done with the single aim to strengthen the community surrounding CIMERWA’s plant and beyond.

Some of CIMERWA’s notable social projects include a health clinic that was built in tandem with CIMERWA’s plant in 1984, a primary school that is now renowned throughout Rusizi for its stellar graduates. CIMERWA also invested in Bugarama’s trade sector by building a market in the town center where women trade fruits and vegetables and a tailoring workshop from where CIMERWA plant staff PPE uniforms and the aforementioned school’s uniforms are produced. In addition, CIMERWA Plc, in collaboration with local authorities, has built a tarmac road that links three sectors in the Rusizi area.

CIMERWA has also been involved in key construction projects including the Kigali Arena, the new Prime Minister’s Office, the Gasabo District Headquarters and the Bugesera airport that is still under construction. CIMERWA’s track-record of successful projects is impressive but also a testament to the importance of PPC’s expertise and the years of on-the-job trainings it provided to CIMERWA employees.

Rwanda is experiencing an unprecedented boom in the construction sector and the trend shows no signs of stopping soon. To continue being a reliable cement provider, CIMERWA has optimized its plant’s production capacity over the years to further satisfy local

demand. To date the plant produces 480,000 tonnes per year with plans to up production capacity until full capacity is achieved (600,000 tonnes).