The Pride of Africa

 

The Dangote Group is honoured as one of 10 most valuable brands in Africa for meeting the needs of several African countries by producing world-class products, thereby reducing importation

The Dangote Group prides itself as an indigenous organisation with a pan-African focus. With its growing influence, adding value to the countries where it operates, the group will in no time even surpass its own expectations. For instance, the Dangote Group was last week named among Africa’s top 10 valuable brands in 2013 in a survey conducted by African Business magazine, a pan-African business magazine. In the survey tagged The Brand Africa 100 Table, the group also emerged the most valuable brand in the consumer goods sector with an African brand value of 216.

Dangote’s emergence did not come as a surprise to industry watchers. The brand has steadily increased its influence in many African countries through establishment of cement, sugar, wheat and salt among other sectors. The conglomerate operates in about 14 African nations, making one of the most visible, recognisable and admired brands. Rupert Kemp, valuation director of the publication, says: “What is perhaps a little more surprising is that Dangote, the largest manufacturing conglomerate in West Africa, and Globacom, telecommunications provider, are also on the list. Both brands have managed to win the hearts of the communities in which they operate.” According to Kemp, the brands were selected based on a study that involved a comprehensive research among consumers of 18 years and above, living in representative countries in metropolitan sub-Saharan Africa region. The consumers made a list of the most admired African and global brands in Africa. He added that each respondent was asked to mention the five local and global brands they admired. “The determination to enhance the export of products from Nigeria and the development of Greenfield projects to make Nigeria a net exporter of basic products also added to Dangote’s chances of attaining the feat,” he disclosed.

Winning awards is not new to both Aliko Dangote, president of the Dangote Group, and his company. In 2011, African Business magazine, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Business Council, CBC, and Business in Africa Events, brought together prominent business leaders, entrepreneurs, heads of state and other high-ranking government officials from across the world to celebrate the achievements and successes of those who have played a pivotal role in driving Africa’s economic development. Dangote was one of those so honoured with the 2011 African Business Leader of the Year award and his group, African Business of the Year award. Dangote was given the award in recognition of his efforts as a driver of change with the courage and imagination to make difficult decisions with long-term value and sustainability in mind, which can ultimately transform corporations. He beat other nominees such as Nizar Juma, Jubilee Holdings Limited, Kenya; James Mwangi, Equity Bank, Kenyan business mogul, and Phuthuma Nhleko of MTN Group in South Africa.

In March 2013, the business mogul became the first African entrepreneur to be valued at $20 billion by Forbes in its annual ranking of the world’s richest people. He is now among the top 25 richest people in the world, ahead of Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s richest man.

With the combination of a friendly business environment (as at 1978 when the group was birthed), optimistic business skills and a loan of N500,000, Dangote has been able to build an empire worth over $20 billion and it stands out among its peers on the continent. He operates cement factories in Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Congo (Brazzaville), Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and seven other countries on the continent. The latest being the signing of a $115 million, N17.25 billion, investment agreement with the government of Cameroon for the construction of a 1.5 million tonnes cement plant, all of which made Dangote Cement emerge Africa’s best cement manufacturing company.

Aside from the cement sector, the multi-national group is a force to reckon with in other sectors like sugar, wheat and salt, where it has invested in production to meet consumption needs and export, thereby removing the country from the list of importers of such commodities. The richest African explained that with the right government policies in place, the basic products could be produced to local taste and improved upon for export with time, adding that all that would be needed would be motivation and encouragement by government through provision of conducive operating environment.

The Brand Africa 100 Table was established in 2011 in recognition of the growth of African brands, which were beginning to challenge global brands in Africa or lead global brands in new categories such as telecommunications. “Brands are an asset. Our aim is to promote them for Africa’s growth, reputation and value,” Kemp stated. It was developed by Brand Africa in partnership with Brand Finance Africa, a division of Brand Finance, an independent brand valuation consultancy. According to Kemp, the process is a two-phase step that starts with identifying and ranking the 100 most admired brands and then re-ranking them based on their calculated brand financial value. 

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