Deep Kamara, the country manager of Dangote Cement Ethiopia, has been killed by gunmen.
According to reports by the Addis Standard, Reuters and several other Ethiopian news outlets, Kamara was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon by unknown assailants near the Dangote Cement Factory located some 85 kilometers west of Addis Ababa in Adeberga woreda, in the Oromiya region. Two other employees of Dangote Cement, a secretary and the driver of the country manager who were driving with Kamara, were also reportedly shot dead.
Ethiopia’s law enforcement agencies are yet to identify the assailants.
Today’s assassinations might be an indication that all is not well with Dangote’s operations in Ethiopia.
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has had a turbulent adventure in Ethiopia. In 2016, during the infamous wave of protests by the Oromiya people, protesters attacked and vandalized Dangote’s cement factory along with several vehicles and machinery. There have also been a series of other attacks from the local community on Dangote’s assets over some unresolved labor issues related to the private employment agencies hired by the company.
Last year, Dangote threatened to shut its operations in Ethiopia if the authorities in Oromiya did not reverse an order to cement makers to deliver control of some parts of their businesses to local young people.
Carl Franklin, a spokesperson for the Dangote Group did not respond to a request for comment at the time of filing this report.
Tony Watima, a Kenyan economist who studies Ethiopian politics says the Dangote Group failed to properly investigate the socio-political dynamics of Ethiopia before venturing there.
“Dangote’s Ethiopian troubles are a pointer to what happens when you use a top-down approach of inducing senior government officials to initiate a project and fail to properly engage the community. Everyone knows the Oromiya region is an anti-government region. Dangote should have done better due diligence,” he says.