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IWD2022: Dangote Group Pledges Greater Investment In Women Empowerment

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IWD: Dangote Pledges Greater Investment in Women Empowerment Dangote Group has reiterated its commitment to continue supporting all forms of investments that would help develop and empower the women personnel within the organisation in Nigeria and across its pan-African operations. To commemorate the annual global International Women’s Day, Dangote Group, through the Dangote Women’s Network (DWN) celebrated the various outstanding contributions of its female workforce while hosting all its members of staff across Africa to collectively mark the 2022 IWD celebration titled: “BreakTheBias”. International Women’s Day, celebrated yearly on March 8 since 1911, has become a day set aside for companies to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while speaking out against inequities including gender-based violence and workplace discrimination. Speaking at the opening of the virtual event, President/CE of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote described “BreakTheBias” as “the start for a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; one that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” According to him, “#BreakTheBias is not a slogan but a continuous fight to eliminate gender discrimination, social, cultural, religious or other forms of deliberate or unconscious bias stereotypes that hinder women from fulfilling their potential.” Dwelling on his personal experience, Dangote revealed, “I personally understand the value of women and the power of having them involved in all aspects of business, including the boardroom. I have always been a champion of women’s empowerment. I am sure that it stems from being raised by a strong Mother, who taught me about business and philanthropy. “I am also the father of three women, and grandfather to four girls. I have seen what they can do when given equal access to opportunities. My three daughters, Mariya, Halima and Fatima are all senior executives at the Dangote Group, and I can tell you they are critical to the success of our business. They have challenged, pushed, and made me a better leader. They are not alone in the Dangote Group. We have a strong bench of women leaders across the Group. Our focus is on skills, productivity, and ability to deliver on given assignments. I am confident that they will help drive the organisation through its next stage of growth.” He disclosed that the company is working hard to completely eliminate any bias against women. “Within the Dangote group, I am proud to say that women are taking up topmost responsibilities and are doing very well in contributing to the rapid growth and expansion of our conglomerate across Africa. I will continue to support women and depend on their tremendous potential to transform the organisation and societies in positive ways”, he said. Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Olakunle Alake, said the theme of this year’s IWD celebration “BreakTheBias” is an inspiration to women and young girls all over the world. According to him, equal education opportunities remain one of the foundational steps in promoting a world free of bias. “The female child should be given equal opportunity while growing up and made to understand that she is not inferior to the male child. She should be encouraged to always put her best foot forward, and that there is no barrier against her ambitions,” he said. Non-Executive Director, Dangote Cement and Matron, Dangote Women’s Network, Halima Aliko-Dangote, said the International Women's Day provides a useful opportunity to reinforce the fact that everyone has a role to play in forging a more gender-balanced world. Halima said, in its effort to ensure women empowerment within and outside the organisation, the company launched the Dangote Women’s Network in 2016 to support the growth of women in the organisation and to serve as a place for them to share experiences and interact. According to her, since the establishment of the network, the group has recorded tremendous growth in just six years. “From empowering and collaborating as a community (charity walk where we raised over N20 million for Internally Displaced Persons in Borno State), donating food, clothes and sanitary products to the less privileged across our Pan African countries (including Nigeria), to changes in policies that protect, support and enable our women to thrive,” she added. Moderating a special panel session with focus on gender bias and possible solution to it, Managing Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou said Dangote Group has increased its female representation on boards, executive committees, and senior management and is committed to have one of the most gender-balanced senior management team among all its businesses. Speaking during the panel session, Managing Director and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa (Ex-RSA), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mrs. Yvonne Ike Fasinro, commended the Dangote Group for its efforts in having a more gender inclusive workplace. She stressed the need for women to develop confidence in themselves and be ready to speak out when necessary. Fasinro also emphasised the need for women in senior cadre to pull others along in the development of their career path. Also, Special Advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, Hajiya Maryam Wali-Uwais urged women to pay special attention to their mental health. “Mental health is a serious concern for all women who strive to be at the top of their game in an organisation. Trying to balance family and work may have serious impact on their mental health. They need to create time for leisure as a way of protecting their mental health” Senior Advisor to the Dangote Group President, Fatima Wali Abdurrahman, said that Dangote Group has done so much in breaking bias, and urged women to support each other in career development. Speaking on her experience over the years in her career, Group Executive Director at the Dangote Group, Dr. Adenike Fajemirokun, urged women to eliminate bias against one another. She said that most bias that she has encountered so far came from fellow women, therefore the need for women to support one another. Speaking at the end of the event, Group Chief Human Resources Officer at Dangote Industries Limited, who is also an Advisory Board Member of Dangote Women’s Network, Mrs. Nglan Niat said the Human Resource Department of the company is involved in raising greater awareness on gender issues. She stated, “We are reviewing our retention and succession plans, ensuring we include our women in our talent pool and in addressing the skills gap to provide more opportunities.” She commended the speakers and colleagues who made out time to attend the event to commemorate the celebration of the International Women’s Day.

Olushola Okunlade Writes

To commemorate the annual global International Women’s Day, Dangote Group, through the Dangote Women’s Network (DWN) celebrated the various outstanding contributions of its female workforce while hosting all its members of staff across Africa to collectively mark the 2022 IWD celebration titled: “BreakTheBias”.

International Women’s Day, celebrated yearly on March 8 since 1911, has become a day set aside for companies to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, while speaking out against inequities including gender-based violence and workplace discrimination. 

Speaking at the opening of the virtual event, President/CE of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote described “BreakTheBias” as “the start for a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; one that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” 

According to him, “#BreakTheBias is not a slogan but a continuous fight to eliminate gender discrimination, social, cultural, religious or other forms of deliberate or unconscious bias stereotypes that hinder women from fulfilling their potential.” 

Dwelling on his personal experience, Dangote revealed, “I personally understand the value of women and the power of having them involved in all aspects of business, including the boardroom. I have always been a champion of women’s empowerment. I am sure that it stems from being raised by a strong mother, who taught me about business and philanthropy. “I am also the father of three women, and grandfather to four girls. I have seen what they can do when given equal access to opportunities. My three daughters, Mariya, Halima, and Fatima are all senior executives at the Dangote Group, and I can tell you they are critical to the success of our business. They have challenged, pushed, and made me a better leader. They are not alone in the Dangote Group.  We have a strong bench of women leaders across the Group. Our focus is on skills, productivity, and the ability to deliver on given assignments. I am confident that they will help drive the organisation through its next stage of growth.” He disclosed that the company is working hard to completely eliminate any bias against women. “Within the Dangote group, I am proud to say that women are taking up topmost responsibilities and are doing very well in contributing to the rapid growth and expansion of our conglomerate across Africa. I will continue to support women and depend on their tremendous potential to transform the organisation and societies in positive ways”, he said.  

Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Olakunle Alake, said the theme of this year’s IWD celebration “BreakTheBias” is an inspiration to women and young girls all over the world. 

According to Alake, equal education opportunities remain one of the foundational steps in promoting a world free of bias. “The female child should be given equal opportunity while growing up and made to understand that she is not inferior to the male child. She should be encouraged to always put her best foot forward, and that there is no barrier against her ambitions,” he said. 

Non-Executive Director, Dangote Cement and Matron, Dangote Women’s Network, Halima Aliko-Dangote, said the International Women’s Day provides a useful opportunity to reinforce the fact that everyone has a role to play in forging a more gender-balanced world. Halima said, in its effort to ensure women’s empowerment within and outside the organisation, the company launched the Dangote Women’s Network in 2016 to support the growth of women in the organisation and to serve as a place for them to share experiences and interact. 

According to her, since the establishment of the network, the group has recorded tremendous growth in just six years. “From empowering and collaborating as a community (charity walk where we raised over N20 million for Internally Displaced Persons in Borno State), donating food, clothes, and sanitary products to the less privileged across our Pan African countries (including Nigeria), to changes in policies that protect, support and enable our women to thrive,” she added. 

Moderating a special panel session with a focus on gender bias and possible solutions to it, Managing Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou said Dangote Group has increased its female representation on boards, executive committees, and senior management and is committed to having one of the most gender-balanced senior management team among all its businesses. 

Speaking during the panel session, Managing Director and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa (Ex-RSA), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mrs. Yvonne Ike Fasinro, commended the Dangote Group for its efforts in having a more gender-inclusive workplace. She stressed the need for women to develop confidence in themselves and be ready to speak out when necessary.  Fasinro also emphasised the need for women in senior cadre to pull others along in the development of their career path. 

Also, Special Advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, Hajiya Maryam Wali-Uwais urged women to pay special attention to their mental health. “Mental health is a serious concern for all women who strive to be at the top of their game in an organisation. Trying to balance family and work may have a serious impact on their mental health. They need to create time for leisure as a way of protecting their mental health” Senior Advisor to the Dangote Group President, Fatima Wali Abdurrahman, said that Dangote Group has done so much in breaking bias, and urged women to support each other in career development. 

Speaking on her experience over the years in her career, Group Executive Director at the Dangote Group, Dr. Adenike Fajemirokun, urged women to eliminate bias against one another. She said that most bias that she has encountered so far came from fellow women, therefore the need for women to support one another. 

Speaking at the end of the event, Group Chief Human Resources Officer at Dangote Industries Limited, who is also an Advisory Board Member of Dangote Women’s Network, Mrs. Nglan Niat said the Human Resource Department of the company is involved in raising greater awareness on gender issues. She stated, “We are reviewing our retention and succession plans, ensuring we include our women in our talent pool and in addressing the skills gap to provide more opportunities.”

She commended the speakers and colleagues who made out time to attend the event to commemorate the celebration of International Women’s Day. 

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How E-Commerce Is Providing Opportunities For SMEs In Nigeria

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How E-Commerce Is Providing Opportunities For SMEs In Nigeria

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of any economy and play a critical role in driving sustainable growth.

However, SMEs in Nigeria face many challenges that hinder their success and growth. Some of the most pressing challenges, according to a PWC survey from 2020, including obtaining financing, finding customers, and infrastructure deficiencies. Given these challenges, SMEs in Nigeria need to establish a strong digital presence in order to secure their future success.

In recent years, the shift toward digital transformation has affected businesses of all sizes, industries, and locations. However, small enterprises tend to be less digitized compared to medium-sized companies and even less digitized than large corporations. This is partly because many digital tools and solutions are designed and priced for larger organizations, making it difficult for smaller businesses to keep up.

In the past, small business owners relied on physical storefronts to connect with customers. However, with the increasing adoption of mobile devices and internet access, there is now an opportunity for small businesses to reach a wider customer base. Yet, many small businesses struggle to take advantage of this opportunity because they lack the knowledge or resources to create an online presence.

Online platforms like Jumia have provided SMEs with an avenue to showcase their products and services to a national and even international audiences. This opens up new revenue streams and helps SMEs to grow their customer base. SMEs can operate with a leaner cost structure as they can conduct their business online without the need for a physical storefront. This allows them to focus on growing their business and reaching new customers, rather than worrying about high overhead costs.

In addition to providing a platform for SMEs to connect with customers, e-commerce companies like Jumia offer several innovative solutions to support the growth of SMEs. JumiaPay, for example, acts as a payment solution provider, allowing merchants to conduct transactions seamlessly and receive payment in real-time. Jumia Logistics provides business owners with affordable delivery options, allowing them to fulfill orders swiftly and reach customers in remote locations. Jumia Advertising provides opportunities for SMEs to increase their brand visibility and grow their business through relevant and high-quality online advertising solutions.

The impact of e-commerce on SMEs in Nigeria cannot be overstated. By providing access to a wider customer base and enabling merchants to reduce their overhead costs, e-commerce offers a valuable and sustainable solution for SMEs to overcome the challenges they face and secure their long-term success in the digital economy.

E-commerce has also been particularly beneficial for SMEs in rural areas of Nigeria. The lack of physical infrastructure and limited access to markets in rural areas can make it difficult for these businesses to reach new customers and expand their customer base. However, with e-commerce, SMEs in rural areas can easily reach a global market, allowing them to increase their sales and grow their business. Online platforms allow these businesses to showcase their products and services to a wider audience, increasing their visibility and reach. Furthermore, e-commerce eliminates the need for SMEs in rural areas to invest in physical shops, reducing their overhead costs and increasing their profitability. This can help these businesses to overcome some of the challenges posed by their location and reach their full potential in the growing e-commerce market in Nigeria.

Another way e-commerce has been beneficial for SMEs in Nigeria is the ability to easily track and analyze sales data. With access to real-time data and sales reports, SMEs can quickly respond to market trends and consumer preferences, allowing them to remain competitive and capitalize on new opportunities. By analyzing sales data, SMEs can also identify their best-selling products and services and make informed decisions about inventory management and pricing strategies. This can help SMEs to reduce waste and increase profitability, allowing them to invest in their business and reach new customers. Additionally, access to data and analytics can help SMEs to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies, allowing them to effectively target the right customers and increase their online visibility. By utilizing these tools, SMEs can increase their competitiveness and reach their full potential in the growing e-commerce market in Nigeria.

Additionally, e-commerce has made it easier for SMEs in Nigeria to receive payments from customers. This ease of payment processing not only helps SMEs to streamline their operations but also increases customer trust and confidence in online transactions, thus leading to an increase in sales. The use of online payment service providers also eliminates the need for SMEs to handle cash, reducing the risk of theft and making the overall payment process much safer and more secure. Furthermore, online payment service providers offer a variety of payment options, including debit and credit card payments, mobile payments, and bank transfers, allowing SMEs to cater to a wider range of customers and increase their sales potential. The availability of these payment options also provides greater convenience for customers, as they can complete transactions from the comfort of their homes or workplaces, making e-commerce a more attractive option for both SMEs and consumers in Nigeria.

In conclusion, the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria has presented tremendous opportunities for SMEs to establish a digital presence and overcome the challenges that have historically hindered their success. As e-commerce continues to evolve and mature in Nigeria, we can expect to see SMEs play an even more prominent role in driving economic growth and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers alike.

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inDrive Recognized As World’s Fastest-Growing Ride-Hailing App In 2022

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inDrive Recognized As World’s Fastest-Growing Ride-Hailing App In 2022

inDrive emerged as the fastest-growing app in its industry in 2022, according to data.ai (formerly App Annie)

…nDrive is ranked #2 in the world by total number of downloads

inDrive is continuing to expand beyond ride-hailing to become a marketplace of services that includes intercity transportation, cargo, couriers, handyman services, and job listings

inDrive, a global mobility and urban services platform, is the world’s fastest-growing global ride-hailing app in 2022, according to data.ai (formerly App Annie). The app saw a 45% increase in downloads year-on-year, climbing from 42.6 million in 2021 to 61.8 million in 2022 to become the 2nd most downloaded ride-hailing app worldwide based on Google Play and App Store data (China is App Store only).

inDrive was also the most downloaded ride-hailing app in Morocco, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Pakistan, Nepal, Namibia, and Botswana.

Arsen Tomsky, inDrive founder and CEO, said: “Despite a challenging macro environment, the data.ai figures underscore the success of our approach to launching in new geographies and maintaining growth rates across existing markets. Our goal at inDrive is to ensure that everyone who uses our app – from our passengers and drivers to our in-app handymen – has greater control over pricing alongside the flexibility to negotiate a fee that they feel is fair.

I am pleased to see that inDrive is the most downloaded app in more than ten regions around the world. We expanded into underserved markets to make mobility more accessible for all people because, at our core, we believe that everyone has the right to accessible and affordable services. We are set to continue on this path in 2023 and build on these results, reaching more people around the world.”

inDrive has achieved rapid growth in 2022, with an 88% year-on-year increase in gross revenue. The Company’s country count reached 47, up from 37 in 2021, as inDrive expanded its team by 1,000 in 2022 to reach 2,700 employees located across 17 offices worldwide.

Last year also saw inDrive launch several new verticals to expand its offering from passenger and cargo transportation, delivery, and handymen services to also include job classifieds and other services. The company recently rebranded from inDriver (Independent Drivers) to inDrive (Inner Drive) to reflect its mission to Challenge Injustice.

About inDrive: inDrive is a global mobility and urban services platform headquartered in Mountain View, California. With over 150 million downloads, the inDrive app is the second most downloaded mobility application in the world. In addition to ride-hailing, inDrive provides an expanding list of urban services, including intercity transportation, cargo and freight delivery, task assistance, delivery, and employment search.

inDrive operates in more than 700 cities across 47 countries, where it supports local communities via its peer-to-peer payment model and its community empowerment programs, which help advance education, sports, arts and sciences, gender equality, and other vital initiatives.

About data.ai: data.ai’s vision is to illuminate the digital landscape by unlocking consumer and market insights to accelerate competitive advantages across mobile and all digital channels globally, powered by AI. We passionately serve enterprise clients to create winning digital experiences for their customers.

By global growth in downloads across App Store and Google Play in 2022 vs 2021. Among ride-hailing apps with primary focus on car transportation.

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Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 

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Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has signed an agreement with China Sinoma International Engineering to build a six million tons per annum cement plant in Itori, Ogun State. 

The agreement was signed by the Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote alongside the Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, DIL, Devakumar Edwin, while China Sinoma Engineering was represented by its Group President, Yin Zhisong, and the company’s Chairman, Liu Renyue. 

Dangote speaking at the signing ceremony, said that the new integrated cement plant at completion will strengthen the local production capacity of Dangote Cement, bringing its local capacity to 41.25 million tons per annum and total African capacity to 57.6 million tons per annum. He said the Itori Cement Plant will also increase Nigeria’s capacity to export cement, thereby enabling more diversification and foreign exchange inflows for the economy.  

Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 
Left-Right: Chairman, Sinoma International Engineering (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., Liu Renyue; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin; and Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Olakunle Alake at the Signing ceremony in Lagos, of 2×6000 TPD Cement Project, Itori Cement Plc, Ogun State in Lagos.

According to Dangote, the project is further expected to develop the domestic economy through the creation of thousands of indirect and direct jobs and drive economic development in the Itori axis. Ancillary businesses, he stated will be drawn to the axis, and will be seeking to take advantage of the location of the cement plant to provide goods and services to staff, contractors, and other stakeholders.  

He added that constructing the new cement plant is in line with Dangote Group’s vision of producing local goods that were formally imported despite the abundance of raw materials for local production of such goods. 

He described Sinoma as a strategic partner who has been instrumental in the success of key projects in Dangote Group. He said, “We are comfortable working with your company. You have handled some of our key projects and I am positive that this project will be completed as scheduled. 

Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 
Left-Right: Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Olakunle Alake; Chairman, Sinoma International Engineering (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., Liu Renyue; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; President, Sinoma International Engineering (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., Yin Zhisong; and Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin; at the Signing ceremony in Lagos, of 2×6000 TPD Cement Project, Itori Cement Plc, Ogun State.

Group President of China Sinoma Engineering, Yin Zhisong, expressed satisfaction with the commitment and determination of the Dangote Group in building cement plants across Africa. He said: “It is an honour for us to build another cement plant for Dangote Group. We are proud and happy to be on this journey with the company again. 

When operational, the plant is expected to have two Lines x 6,000 TPD Clinker Production with an installed daily total capacity of 12,000 TPD of Clinker production. It is expected to be completed within 27 months with best-in-class equipment in the cement industry, sourced from Europe’s major equipment suppliers. 

The plant will have its own captive power plant to generate electric power for use by cement kilns and other production processes. 

The Itori Cement Plant will be Dangote Cement’s fourth cement plant constructed as a green field project in Nigeria, the rest are Obajana, Ibese, and Okpella Plants.  

Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with 51.6Mta production capacity across Africa with Nigeria accounting for 35.25Mta.   

Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta; Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta; and  Okpella plant in Edo state has 3Mta

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