• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Marketing Africa on CNN

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“Africa has made tremendous progress on the economic front in the last decade and has become one of the fastest growing regions in the world – home to six of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world. Africa also offers one of the highest rates of return on investment in the world, a fact that discerning foreign investors have since acknowledged. Indeed, Africa has turned the corner and is now catching up with the rest of the world in the race for development”

– The President/Chief Executive, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said.

In the recent time, Africa has made giant progress in almost all spheres; still the continent is not much heard globally on this tremendous advancement. When heard, it is about the negatives such as  Ebola and hunger.  This is part of the reasons that informed the decision of  Dangote Industries Limited, one of Africa’s largest business conglomerates, to embark on the sponsorship of  ‘Facetime’ segment on CNN Marketplace Africa, CNN International’s show that offers a unique window into African business.

‘Facetime’ is a high-profile segment within CNN Marketplace Africa, where each week a major player from the continent’s business community is interviewed.

“We are delighted that Dangote Industries Limited is working with CNN to promote its brand internationally in a TV sponsorship across all CNN International global feeds,” said Antonio Canto, Vice President, Regional Ad Sales, EMEA, CNN International. “The ‘Facetime’ segment in CNN Marketplace Africa is an important programming strand to be associated with because the content reflects the dynamic nature of African business. Dangote’s expansion, underpinned by this bespoke advertising campaign with CNN, is a brand-builder for African business as a whole.”

With Africa becoming the economic frontier, sponsorship of such programme on CNN platform will assist in marketing the continent to the rest of the world. Delighted in sponsoring the programme  Dangote said it is because the programme tells compelling success stories about Africa as “such content can ultimately position Africa as an attractive investment destination and foster development that lift communities and nations into prosperity. This is Africa’s time.”

There are  transformations that are taking place in Africa. The story of Africa as a fast moving continent could only be better told by the Africans themselves. The developments within the continent could certainly not be left in the hands of outsiders.

The programme which debuted September 19, 2014 will be featuring Dangote advertising campaign showcasing Dangote’s expansion drive across the Continent. The show goes beyond the numbers to bring viewers the new business solutions and industry trends redefining African business. On-air content is complemented by distinctive online editorial at a CNN Marketplace Africa microsite, where popular and innovative content is shared across a range of social channels.

Explaining the motivating factor behind his group’s decision to sponsor the programme, President and Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Aliko Dangote said his Company was moved into undertaking to support the programme because there exists a lot of misconception about Africa. Besides, the lack of information on Africa is holding back foreign investment.

According to him, some investors still have stereotypical images of Africa. A new Africa is emerging from the ashes of her dark past, and is fast rising and is gaining accelerated speed, in all indices of human development. Many appear to have taken little notice of this silent revolution that is sweeping across Africa like a tornado. There is growing optimism everywhere about Africa, on a scale never before imagined, Dangote said.

“For instance, Rwanda, which was only two decades ago, devastated by war, is one of the success stories of this African renaissance. Similarly, the economy of Ethiopia, once a global metaphor for famine, has been growing at a double-digit for the past five years. This growth has attracted Ethiopians abroad, who are coming home with expertise and capital to develop their country currently ranked the 10th largest livestock producer in the world.

Dangote said there is noticeable growth in the middle class, with increased purchasing power, across Africa. This has provided an incentive for fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) companies, which are scrambling to invest in Africa. The increase in population growth of Africa (currently estimated at 1billion), abundance of natural resources, and clement weather, also make Africa a viable proposition for investors.

“The Chinese, who have been smart to move in early enough, are reaping the fruits, especially in the construction industry, in which they possess considerable expertise. They are building factories, roads and railway lines across Africa. In the last eight years alone, foreign direct investment (FDI) has helped create 1.6 million new jobs in Africa. Capital investments are projected to reach $150billion in 2015.

“Determined not to be outdone by the Chinese, Western companies are now taking more interest in Africa. General Electric (GE), the world’s largest infrastructure company, recently declared its intention to invest in Africa. African companies are not sitting back idly as they are behind a growing percentage of FDI, which has been going to sectors such as manufacturing and services, in recent years. South African big retail shops like Shoprite, Massmart and Spar, and telecommunication company, MTN Group; Etisalat of the Middle East; and Airtel of India, have all gained a foothold in Nigeria, which has witnessed an unprecedented growth in number of subscriber base from 500,000 fixed lines in 2001 to 98.4 million as at October 2011. “This growth is the fastest anywhere in the world! African markets must re-position themselves to key into this economic revolution.

“In 2010, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) of the United States named 40 African Companies that have the potential to rival Fortune 500 Companies based on their size, geographical spread and turnover. Dangote Group is one of them. Dangote Cement Plc is also the only Nigerian Company on Forbes Global 2000 Companies.                         

“In the last few years, we have invested close to $4 billion in various projects across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We are setting up new cement plants in eight African countries namely: Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Benin Republic. We are also developing import terminals in the following African countries: Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Togo and Guinea (Conakry).

“All these projects, which are largely driven by huge deficit in local supply of cement in the countries listed, are at different stages of progress, and will be completed between 2012 and 2014. Our ultimate goal is to rank amongst the top eight cement producers in the world by 2014.

“The key to doing business successfully in Africa lies in understanding the environment. There are peculiar challenges associated with doing business in Africa. Some of these challenges may include multiple taxations, low level of infrastructural development, and security issues. They are part of our reality. Western firms continue to invest in the oil and gas industry in crisis-prone countries of the world because they understand how to do business in such volatile environments.

The Dangote Group CEO maintained that the partnership with the CNN on marketplace Africa would go a long way into changing the perception about the economic status of Africa. “This is part of our own contribution to the rising Africa continent”