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Pan African Tobacco builds new factory

| May 22, 2013

The Pan African Tobacco Group recently broke ground for a $20 million tobacco processing factory in Arua, Uganda. The new facility, which includes a 30,000 square meter warehouse, will have a production capacity of 10 tons per hour.

“As part of this expansion, PTG will manufacture high quality products, while creating hundreds of well-paying jobs in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, the founder of PTG. “I am delighted to announce that our projects are in progress.”

David Wakikona, Uganda’s trade minister, laid the factory’s first stone during a ceremony on May 20. He described the site as a source of jobs and timely investment, while praising the commitment of PTG to improve tobacco production and the quality of exports to other regions.

“The opening of a plant of this size in a rural area is a defining moment in the history of Uganda,” said Wakikona. “It is all the more important given the jobs that will be created.”

Upon completion, five months from now, the factory will employ 200 permanent and 2,000 seasonal workers. It will also contract with 1,500 drivers to transport its products to destinations throughout the region. The number of Arua leaf growers supplying PTG will increase to 13,000.

PTG already has a strong presence in the region, where it invests $18 million a year in tobacco cultivation.

 

 

Pan African Tobacco Group founder to retire

| January 7, 2013

 

The Pan African Tobacco Group’s founder, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, will retire after a 52-year career, passing along the management of his companies to his sons and son-in-law.

Paul Nkwaya, Ayabatwa’s eldest son, will serve as the group’s marketing director, while his youngest son, Richard Rujugiro, will serve as technical director. Son-in-law Serge Huggenberger will serve as financial director.

Ayabatwa, 72, will continue to advise his sons and son-in-law on company management, but will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations.

“I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished over the last five decades,” Ayabatwa said. “I worked extremely hard to create jobs and opportunities for Africa, and have no doubt that my sons and son-in-law will lead my companies successfully into the future.”

In his retirement, Ayabatwa plans to spend more time on his charitable endeavors. He is developing a foundation mainly to help aspiring African entrepreneurs.

The Pan African Tobacco Group and the other companies Ayabatwa founded operate in 10 countries and trade in 27 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Combined, Ayabatwa’s companies employ 26,000 people who in turn support at least 182,000—in Sub-Saharan Africa, each employee supports at least seven people. From South Africa and the United Arab Emirates to Angola and Tanzania, Ayabatwa companies manufacture cement, tea, plastic shoes, beer, snack foods and cigarettes.

Ayabatwa, a Rwandan refugee with just an eighth-grade education, had to create many of his own opportunities. “My goal was never about making money; it was about building something up, creating something,” Ayabatwa said. “That is what I tried to accomplish and that is the legacy I leave to my sons and son-in-law.”

The Pan African Tobacco Group has subsidiaries in several African countries and in the UAE. Its subsidiaries include Leaf Tobacco & Commodities in Uganda, Vision Tobacco in Dubai, Barco Trading in Angola, Burundi Tobacco Company in Burundi, Leaf Tobacco & Commodities in Nigeria, the Congo Tobacco Company, Mastermind Tobacco Company in Tanzania and Arkan Leaf in Angola.