The East African Community Council of Ministers has agreed to lower the common external tariff (CET) on imported cement from 35 percent to 25 percent in order to increase cement supply and mitigate the current high cement prices in the region.
Rwanda which has low cement production capacity is expected to benefit from the new taxes as it expects to consume 266,000 tonnes of cement this year.
The country’s largest cement factory, Cimerwa is finding it had to satisfy the local market whose cement consumption is expected to reach 322,000 tonnes by 2011.
Cimerwa, whose production capacity is estimated to increase six times once it completes construction of the new factory currently, produces only 100,000 tonnes annually. This is way below the 354,000 tonnes expected to be consumed by in 2012.