Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote shares secret of backward integration with investors: “Produce the entire value chain”

At the Financial Times’ 4th annual Africa Summit (http://APO.af/qv2dZF) at Claridges in London, editor in chief Lionel Barber conducted an extraordinarily candid public conversation with Nigerian Aliko Dangote, Africa’s most successful business leader, in the presence of Nigerian vice-president Professor Yemi Osingajo, Congolese presidential hopeful Moise Katumbi, and about 300 business leaders.

Mastering detailed production statistics and highly-compelling demographics on promising sectors of the African economy, Dangote outlined the key to his success: self-sufficiency and backward integration, a manufacturing strategy that extracts value from entire processes. “We are not going to import anything any longer,” he said. “In Nigeria we are learning how to produce the entire value chain.” Once a heavy importer of fertilizer, Nigeria is now gearing up to produce 3M tonnes of locally manufactured fertilizer, transforming the nation into one of the largest fertilizer exporters in Africa.

In 2007 Nigeria was the second largest importer of cement after the US, Dangote reminded the audience of business elites. “Today, we have not only satisfied domestic needs; we have become a leading exporter of 6-7M tonnes of cement,” he added.

Diversifying into agriculture, Dangote has eyes on the dairy industry motivated by the fact that “98% of all milk consumed in Nigeria is imported.” Same for rice. Dangote Group has invested heavily in rice production by investing in local farmers and then offering to buy back the 1M tonnes at open market prices that they are growing. “Soon we will be able to feed not only Nigeria but the entire 320M large West African market.”

Dangote’s business accumen was on rare exhibition as FT editor Lionel Barber himself seemed impressed with the business mogul’s quick familiarity with the nuts and bolts of his businesses. “Are we going to continue to import everything?” Dangote asked. “Freight rates are now cheap but they will go up soon. A population of over 200M cannot continue to import basic needs on a daily basis,” he answered himself.

By 2100 Dangote stated Africa will represent 49% of the world’s population, up from 30% today. “If you don’t think big we won’t grow at all,” he said. “In Africa you have to play long-term.”

Aside from Nigeria, which African nations do you think are good growth opportunities? Barber asked Dangote. “Aside from Nigeria?” the business leader repeated and smiled. “I’d have to pick Nigeria. I am a big fan of Nigeria. We are only using 8% of our land.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of APO Group – Africa Newsroom.

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Statement by the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan on the abduction of aid worker in Darfur

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas, expressed grave concern over the abduction of Margaret Schenkel, a Swiss aid worker, in North Darfur State on 7 October 2017.

“I am deeply shocked by this incident. Targeting aid workers who provide neutral, impartial and life-saving humanitarian assistance is a crime under International Humanitarian Law,” said Ms. Ruedas.

“I would like to urge all parties to ensure her safe release and well-being,” Ms. Ruedas stated.

On 7 October, unknown and unidentified armed persons abducted Margaret Schenkel from her residence in El-Fasher, capital of North Darfur State, at gunpoint.

This is the third incident of aid worker abduction in Darfur over the past two years.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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Canada calls on Kenya to ensure free, fair and peaceful Presidential elections

Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement:

“As a fellow democracy, Canada calls on Kenya’s leaders and all its citizens to ensure that the Kenyan people can successfully exercise their democratic rights in a free, fair, and peaceful Presidential election.”

“Canada urges Kenyans to work together to ensure the new election is conducted in accordance with Kenya’s Constitution and applicable laws.”

“Canada is concerned by the rise of the tensions and protests in Kenya and that the negative political context is creating conditions that hamper the necessary preparations for the October 26 Presidential election.”

“Canada urges all Kenyan leaders and citizens to reject violence and hate speech. Such actions risk undermining Kenya’s Constitution, the rule of law, and peace and security. No one should ever be threatened by violence for expressing their ideas and opinions. Freedom of expression and a free and vibrant civil society are the foundations for any democracy.”

“Canada welcomes the efforts of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to engage leaders and parties in a dialogue about processes and procedures, and we urge the parties to fully and meaningfully participate.”

“It is Canada’s sincere hope that the upcoming elections will set an example for Africa and the world.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Government of Canada.

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IOM Providing Emergency Assistance to over 4,000 Migrants after end of Sabratah Conflict

In the aftermath of weeks of conflict in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratah, at least 4,000 migrants, previously held in numerous informal detention centres and camps, have been transferred to a hangar in the city’s Dahman area, where IOM, the UN Migration Agency is providing emergency assistance.

Sabratah is approximately 80 kilometres west of Tripoli and is one of the main departure points for migrant boats attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

On 7 October, a day after the first transfer of migrants, IOM sent a field team to the hangar to assess the situation. By the end of the day, the team reported that 2,600 migrants (1,819 men, 704 women and 77 children) were being kept at the site by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). More migrants from other locations in Sabratah were later transferred to the hangar and more are anticipated to arrive soon.

The migrants are from almost a dozen countries and among them are pregnant women, newborn babies and unaccompanied children. IOM medical team assessed the migrants’ primary health needs and in one case one pregnant woman was transferred by ambulance to a private clinic, 10 kilometres from Sabratah, where she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

IOM provided food, water and core relief packages, which include mattresses, blankets, pillows and hygiene kits to the initial 2,600 migrants. More food and emergency assistance will be provided in the coming days for all migrants in the hangar. IOM is also providing psychosocial support over the next few days.

The migrants will also be offered the opportunity to return home through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance Programme.

“We are seriously concerned by the large number of migrants caught up in recent developments in Sabratah,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “Alternatives to detention must be found for migrants in Libya. In the meantime, IOM continues to provide direct humanitarian, health and psychosocial assistance to meet the urgent needs of the thousands of migrants being affected.”

The Libyan authorities have reported that the migrants in the Sabratah hangar will be transferred to detention centres in Tripoli. Already, about 2,000 migrants are in the process of being transferred by DCIM and IOM is already present at these centres to continue assistance as they arrive.

As more migrants are moved through the hangar, which has almost no facilities, there is an urgent need for basic assistance, including food, water, core relief items and medical assistance.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely in consultation with humanitarian partners on the ground. IOM calls for a unified and coordinated response by all humanitarian actors to meet the needs of these migrants,” said Belbeisi.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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