All Articles Tagged "african business"

African Entrepreneur Seeks to Change Africa’s Image

January 12th, 2012 - By Charlotte Young
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magatte wade

Senegalese entrepreneur Magatte Wade has moved from marketing drinks, to marketing a different perspective of Africa. Wade started her entrepreneurial efforts with Adina World Beat Beverages in 2004. She wanted to share healthier drink recipes with the world and started selling the traditional Senegalese beverage bissap in the US.  According to CNN, the young entrepreneur with one multi-million dollar company under her belt, saw a world ready to see African entrepreneurs succeed. She’s now coming out with a new skin care line and ambition to change Africa’s image.

“My biggest pride was to know that it was possible, that the vision I had was possible and my vision was that the world is hungry for well-executed African brands,” Wade told CNN.

Her new skin care line is called Tiossano; and it’s a high-end skin care line based on traditional Senegalese recipes. Tiossano uses natural ingredients unique to Africa. Her product is currently based in New York.

“We are in the process of making sure that people will buy into it. In our first three weeks of existence we landed a pretty cool account already, so we’re getting there,” she said.

Wade hopes to use her entrepreneurial efforts to also help change the image people have of Africa, which she feels consists of safaris, tribal designs and charity.

She wants her business pursuits to inspire other Africans so that in the next ten years there will be an African company included in the world’s top 100 brands.

“But self-esteem will also come if enough of us today that are in the age of working, if enough of us can really get together and try and build a different brand for Africa, a brand that all of a sudden means ‘contributors to the world,’ rather than a subset of a population that’s always sucking energy out of others,” she said to CNN.

Once Tiossano sees a great enough profit, Wade aspires to move production of her products from the US to Senegal. Even before its big move, the company is making plans to donate 10 percent of its earnings to support Senegal’s next generation of leaders.

Ethiopian Coffee Could Drop out of Vogue

September 6th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Businessweek) — The mouthful of coffee makes a high-pitched ting as Stephen Vick spits into a metal urn. “Ethiopian coffees are really special,” says Vick, quality control manager for Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. At the company’s “cupping” lab in Chicago, he samples delicately flavored batches from the birthplace of coffee before deciding what to ship to Intelligentsia’s six cafes and 1,000 retailers.  The Ethiopia taste tests occur far less often than before, says Vick. “We don’t want to buy anonymous coffee,” says Geoff Watts, an Intelligentsia vice-president. The no-name beans he is referring to trade on the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, an effort to improve farm markets that also poses a serious problem for U.S. coffee dealers who seek out coffee the way Manhattan wine merchants track down the best Bordeaux.

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Chris Kirubi: Success Advice from a Kenyan Mogul

July 22nd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Forbes) — Chris Kirubi is a complex man. One of Africa’s richest and most successful businessmen, he’s that rare blend ofDonald Trump, Jeffrey Sachs,Richard Branson and American music star DJ Khaled, in African skin. In business, he’s got the cunning and clout of Trump, the economic intellect of Sachs, the rebellion of Branson, and the musical inclinations of hip-hop act DJ Khaled.  Here’s the reason why: In between running one of Africa’s largest privately held business conglomerates, delivering countless keynote lectures during frequent international economic gatherings, writing a weekly business column for a daily newspaper and mentoring young Kenyan entrepreneurs, Kirubi still finds time to make cameo appearances in Kenyan hip-hop videos, movies, and even hosts a rock show on Capital FM, a Nairobi radio station he owns. He’s the DJ!

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Nigerian Lace Reveals New Pattern of Wealth

June 28th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — From her Gorgeous Look embroidery shop, Monica Adeola has a front-row seat on a new Nigerian consumer ready to dress up. Her customers—stay-at-home moms, young professionals and laborers with newfound spending money—barter over the latest embroidered dresses, blouses and shirts, which are known here as “lace.”    No longer reserved for the rich, lace today is on the backs of motorcycle-taxi passengers and nightclub goers, part of Africa’s growing middle class. The African Development Bank estimates that the continent has around 300 million people with incomes in excess of their basic needs, up more than 60% from a decade ago.  “We’re trying to rebrand lace,” says Folake Folarin-Coker, a Nigerian fashion designer who helped stage a lace-themed fashion show here last month. “There is a huge middle-income market in Nigeria.”  The Nigerian lace industry also opens a window on broader change in Africa as a whole: As the consumer class expands, so, too, has the underground, informal economy.

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7 African Entrepreneurs Who Inspire Innovation

June 20th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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To be a successful entrepreneur in Africa, you must have raw courage, and blind perseverance to overcome mind-boggling bureaucracy and limited access to credit.  In spite of these challenges many Africans have tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit and have been rewarded with success beyond their wildest dreams.  Spanning every region of the continent, The Atlanta Post has compiled a diverse list of African visionaries who deserve to be profiled not only because of the size of their wallet, but also because of the phenomenal impact of their initiatives.  Here are seven men and women whose stories will inspire you not to give up.


"aliko dangote"

Aliko Dangote

The Golden Boy

Even when he was a school boy, Aliko Dangote was eyeing the profit margin from the carton of sweets he was selling to his mates.  By the time he was 21 he had secured a loan from his uncle to start a company which trades in cement.  With strategic alliances and a sharp business acumen, he turned his company, the Dangote Group, into a commodities conglomerate operating in several African countries.  According to Forbes’ 2011 rich list, at age 53 Dangote is worth 13 billion dollars, making him the richest man in Nigeria, and the 51st richest man in the world.

African Leaders Negotiate a Free Trade Zone

June 17th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Christian Science Monitor) — Trade officials from across Africa met in Johannesburg this week to announce the formal start of negotiations toward a free trade zone that would stretch the length of the continent, incorporating more than 500 million people, 26 countries, and nearly a trillion dollars of economic output.  The proposed deal, which would eliminate many trade barriers between participating countries, would merge three existing trade blocs in eastern, central, and southern Africa. It would include Africa’s two biggest economies (South Africa and Egypt) and its fastest growing (the Democratic Republic of Congo,Zimbabwe, and Botswana).  The project, which has been dubbed the “African Grand Free Trade Area,” is a bold idea, but not a new one. African leaders first made their plans for a 26-country trading bloc public at a summit in Uganda in October 2008. Since then, they have made little progress toward that goal.

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Ethiopian Bridal Designer Tries on Reality TV

June 14th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(TheLoop21) — Amsale Aberra has designed bridal gowns for some of America’s most well known celebrities. Her client list includes Halle Berry, Selma Hayek and Julia Roberts, just to name a few. Still, her first client nearly 25 years ago was a person she knows very well, herself. Aberra started designing bridal gowns when she couldn’t find a dress to walk down the aisle. So, she designed her own wedding dress that focused on simplicity, clean lines, with a touch of glamour. Aberra’s bridal aesthetic quickly caught on, making her a go-to designer in bridal showrooms across the U.S.  A native of Ethiopia, Aberra came to the U.S. to study commercial art. When she took the 18-hour flight to New England, she had no idea she wouldn’t be able to return home. A revolution broke out, leaving her to support herself. Having no money to buy clothes, Aberra made her own and discovered she had a gift of design; an occupation she didn’t even know existed in Ethiopia.

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In Africa Clinton Envisions Trade Not Aid

June 11th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday warned that China didn’t always have Africa’s interests at heart as it invested and offered assistance on the continent, highlighting frictions between the countries as economic stakes on the continent rise.  In remarks to reporters after the close of a business conference in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, Mrs. Clinton said China “has not always utilized the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests.” She added, however, that the U.S. also wanted to work more closely with China, and had instructed embassies to seek “areas of cooperation” with Chinese counterparts in Africa.  She told the conference the U.S. was embarking on “a new way of doing business” that seeks to foster grass-roots commercial activity rather than aid.  “Our approach is based on partnership, not patronage. It is focused not on handouts but on the kind of economic growth that underlies long-term progress,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Ultimately, it is aimed at helping developing countries chart their own futures and, frankly, end the need for aid at all.”

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American Businesses Do the Math on African Operations

June 6th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — During a series of trips to Africa last year, Tim Solso had a realization: China was beating him at his own game.  So the chief executive of Cummins Inc., a maker of truck and machinery engines, vowed to catch up. He plans to quadruple the company’s sales in Africa to about $1 billion within five years, investing $15 million annually to train staff and build sales offices from Johannesburg to Casablanca. The company recently installed in South Africa an executive to oversee Africa operations, previously supervised from Europe and Indiana.  Cummins joins a growing number of U.S. companies vying for a stronger foothold on the continent. Caterpillar Inc., the giant maker of construction equipment, is selling more trucks to Mozambique and Zambia. Harley-Davidson Inc. is opening dealerships in Botswana and Mauritius. General Electric Co. has its first aircraft-leasing office in Ghana for Central and West African airlines. Google Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are among the dozens of other U.S. companies moving in or expanding.  Until now, “Africa has been just a rounding error for us,” says Brady Southwick, Cummins’s new head of Africa operations.

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South African Gold Miners Win Right to Sue

June 3rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Businessweek) — Toto Willie has little to show for a decade’s work in Anglo American’s gold mines: a store selling potato chips and kerosene, run from one of the three rooms in his tin shack, and a 1985 Toyota station wagon. Willie’s wife, Nowest, looks after a neighbor’s two babies to supplement the few hundred rand the family earns monthly from their store.  Willie also has a medical certificate showing he has silicosis, a scarring of the lungs caused by prolonged exposure to the silica dust released by some kinds of gold mining. Willie and others with the disease worked in South African mines now run by such companies as Gold Fields (GFI), Harmony Gold Mining (HMY), and AngloGold Ashanti (AU), a spinoff of Anglo American. “It’s hard to breathe,” Willie, 50, says at his home in Happy Valley, a trash-strewn shantytown near Cape Town, as he pulls the certificate from a worn folder. “I can’t manage to work again. I need help.”

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