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Six Years On: Dangote Remains “Most Admired Brand” In Africa, 2nd In Sustainability Brand In Africa Among Top 100 Brands

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For the sixth consecutive year, the Dangote brand has been adjudged as the Most Admired African Brand among the top 100 brands in the continent.

Dangote, as the most Admired African when respondents are prompted to recall an African brand specifically was followed by the Telecommunication outfit, MTN in the second position and Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) coming third, both of South African origin.

The pan-African conglomerate brand was also adjudged as the number one African Pride brand followed by the Ethiopian Airline and MTN respectively.

In a newly introduced category, the Dangote brand came second in Sustainability, by brands doing good for the people, Society, and the Environment.

These were announced in Johannesburg, South Africa on the occasion of Africa Day marking the 13th Annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands 2023 rankings of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa based on a survey and rankings conducted by Geopoll, Kantar, and Brand Leadership, across 32 African countries that account for more than 85% of the continent’s GDP and population.

Brand Africa in its statement announcing the ranking disclosed that in a new category of brands that are doing good for people, society and the

environment, inspired by business shifting from profit to purpose, MTN and Dangote as African brands came first and second respectively while Unicef

emerged as the number one NGO and Coca-Cola emerged as the number one non-African brand.

In the category-specific ranking of the Top 25 financial services brands, Africa’s oldest banking group, Standard Bank surged to the number one position of the most admired brand in Africa, displacing GTBank, which had led the rankings for the past 3 years, but is reeling from recent UK regulatory issues, service challenges, and a tough competitive environment. The category is dominated by South African (6) and Nigerian (6) brands which account for 48% of the rankings, with the USA (4), led by VISA, at 16% percent, making up 64% of the Top 25 brands.

In another category-specific ranking of the Top 25 media brands, DSTV, the consumer brand of the Multichoice Group, retains its dominant ranking ahead of BBC and CNN as the most admired media brand in Africa. Consistent with previous rankings, non-African media dominate the continent, accounting for 76% of the Top 25 brands.

Brand Africa disclosed that Dangote retained the number one spot for the 6th time despite African brands slipping to 14% of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa as non-African brands entrench their position in the continent.

Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairman of Brand Africa expressed concern that despite the optimism about the progress of the African Continental Free Trade Area

(AfCFTA) and other initiative to drive African initiatives, African brands still regressed 20% from a 10-year high of 17% to 14% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa.

“It is concerning that despite the momentum in operationalizing the AfCFTA, rising internal pride in continent albeit against global economic challenges, that African consumers have reverted to their trusted, mostly non-Africa brands, rather than give African brands a chance,” he stated. “Nonetheless, this is the state of brands in Africa, and an urgent need to build trust in Made in African brands.”

Bernard Okasi, the Director of Research, GeoPoll, which has been the lead data collection partner since 2015 while speaking on the outcome of the survey explained “With an ever increasing number of countries, greater sample size, and the growth of mobile across the continent, more than ever, using mobile continues to prove to be an effective tool to reach and access respondents across the continent”.

The Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East for Kantar, Karin Du Chenne, who has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010 says, “despite the increased countries and sample sizes which have invariably grown the volumes of brands analysed, the survey continues to yield a very consistent picture of the leading brands in the continent, albeit not yet to Africa’s advantage.”

He added that as a non-profit initiative and to ensure the objectivity and independence of the rankings, the Brand Africa 100 | Africa’s Best Brands research to determine the most admired top-of-mind brands in Africa are not funded by any brand.

Reacting to the last survey affirming Dangote as number one most admired indigenous African brand, Group Chief, Branding and Communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Anthony Chiejina said the awards were well deserved because “the Dangote brand generates strong nationalistic impressions and powerful feelings across the Continent in terms of industrialization, self-sufficiency, prosperity, power and production.”

He stated that this was further strengthened with the recent commissioning of 650,000 bpd Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemical complex which is a huge industrial complex or frigate. “The brand portends the inevitability of Nigerian global ascendancy and a gateway to regional and continental development”, he added.

Established in 2010, Brand Africa is an intergenerational movement to inspire a brand-led African renaissance to drive Africa’s competitiveness, connect Africa and create a positive image of the Continent.

BIG STORY

BUSINESS: Investing In Davido’s Coin Highly Risky, SEC Warns Nigerians

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The public has been cautioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) not to invest in the meme coin that is purportedly associated with popular Nigerian artist David Adedeji Adeleke, better known by his stage name Davido.

The commission made this known in a statement published on its website on Friday.

The SEC issued a warning, saying that users of the meme coin do so at their own risk.

“The general public is hereby advised that meme coins lack fundamental value and are purely speculative. The general public is further warned that investing in meme coins, including $Davido, is highly risky and should be done with a full understanding of the associated risk.

“Capital market operators are by this notice warned not to associate with instruments that fall outside the SEC’s regulatory purview. Such instruments should not in any manner be distributed or monitored through any capital market mechanism.

“Please note that the commission does not recognise $Davido as an investment product or investable asset class under its regulatory purview, as such individuals who patronize it, do so at their peril,” the statement read.

The SEC said it will keep a close watch on market developments and is ready to step in with regulatory action as needed.

The commission further explained, “Generally, meme coins are cryptocurrencies inspired by memes and internet jokes. They are often envisaged as fun, light-hearted cryptocurrencies promoted through a social media community and sometimes through celebrity endorsements.

“Meme coins are also not intended to serve as a medium of exchange accepted by the public as payment for goods and services, or as a digital representation of capital market products such as shares, debentures, units of collective investment schemes, derivatives contracts, commodities or other kinds of financial instruments or investments.”

The music star unveiled a meme coin called $Davido on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

However, the meme coin has been widely criticised by Nigerians after its value nosedived just a day after its launch.

Social media was awash with disappointed investors and fans venting their frustration as the coin’s value plummeted, with many expressing their dismay and disillusionment.

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UPDATE: More Women Testify Against Perm Sec Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Union Levels Allegations Too

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The controversies and series of serious allegations surrounding the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa, have taken a different dimension.

The Ministry’s labour union, the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), is likewise incensed at the Permanent Secretary.

The union charged Lamuwa with financial irregularities, favouritism, bad management, and high-handedness, all of which had a negative impact on the rights and welfare of the employees.

In a June 11, 2024, petition to Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the staff union charged that the Permanent Secretary was pushing all matters pertaining to employee welfare, benefits, training, and other related matters to the side.

They specifically highlighted the denial of various benefits the workers were entitled to, which had been a source of their discontent for months.

In the petition obtained by PRNigeria, the union listed and explained in detail the series of benefits that the workers were entitled to that Ambassador Lamuwa has been denying them for months.

They accused him of unduly and illegally favouring a certain category of people and victimising those who do not dance to his tunes in the area of posting, training and other benefits like Hajj seats.

Some of his alleged crimes as listed in the petition include delay in payment of some benefits, delay in promotion and conversion of staff, lack of transparency in posting, delay in payment of clothing allowance, discrimination in paying First 28 Days Allowance, lack of fairness in the distribution of the 2024 Hajj seats, inadequate posting of Batch B officers to foreign missions, poor sanitation and hygiene due to insufficient water supply, lack of work tools, dilapidated office buildings, refusal to pay the 25th regular course allowance for nine months, among others.

In the petition, signed by the Chairman and Assistant General Secretary of the JNC, Comrade Ali Seidu and Comrade S. E. Akpana, the union urged Ambassador Tuggar to look into their grievances and address the series of injustice allegedly done by the Permanent Secretary to avoid a drastic action by the workers.

They workers said: “Consequent upon the maladministration, dwindling level of productivity occasioned by the administrative leadership apathy in the ministry, the JNC has been engaging with the management thinking its solidarity with the authorities of the Ministry will yield positive results and prompt action on pending issues.

“Unfortunately, there was no corresponding improvement instead, the management has become worse, unreceptive and very harsh to everyone who dares to speak and ask questions. Victimisation, intimidation, and harassment has become a tool the management uses to shut critics while the staff of the Ministry continue to suffer.

“The staff of the Ministry are outraged by the egregious neglect, surreptitious administrative skullduggery, manipulations and commercialisation of the Ministry’s activities by the Permanent Secretary and his allies under the guise of rejuvenation. They have introduced harmful practices that threaten the very fabric of our Institution. We demand an immediate end to all their destructive policies and a return to the principles of fairness, equity and transparency. We call on the Honourable Minister to direct the authorities to investigate these grievances and take swift action.

“We the staff hereby give a 21-days ultimatum to the Management to immediately address the grievances outlined in our communiqué, failure to do so will be met with strong resistance.”

In his response, the Minister called for calm and promised to look into their grievances.

It would be recalled that the Permanent Secretary had been in the eye of the storm for days over allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a staff of the Ministry, Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi, who is said to be an aide to the Minister.

The lady wrote a petition to the Minister, through her lawyer, Femi Falana, which forced the latter to equally write to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, to probe the allegation of sexual harassment against Lamuwa.

The Head of Service also set up a panel to investigate the allegations and suspended the Permanent Secretary pending the probe’s outcome.

Meanwhile, further investigations by PRNigeria showed that at least three more women have approached the probe panel to lodge similar allegations of sexual harassment against Ambassador Lamuwa.

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Ghana Announces Three Weeks Of Power Cuts Over Reduced Gas From Nigeria

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Ghana’s state-owned electricity company has announced a three-week power outage due to reduced gas supply from Nigeria.

This has made the “dumsor” (a term that means “on and off”) electrical shortages that have been a problem for the country for years worse, according to BBC Africa.

Over the past 20 years, Ghana’s population and urbanisation have increased, and with them, so has the country’s need for power.

However, this growing demand has been hindered by the current gas supply reduction from Nigeria, which commenced on Wednesday and is attributed to maintenance works being conducted by a supplier.

This has resulted in a decline in power generation across the country, compelling the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to initiate load shedding to effectively manage electricity distribution, as stated in a release on Thursday.

“The reduction in gas supply is due to maintenance works being undertaken by a gas supplier in Nigeria and is projected to last three weeks,” it added.

On Wednesday, West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo) revealed that it was experiencing a decline in the volume of gas available for transportation as a result of one of its producers in Nigeria shutting down its facility for maintenance.

This reduction in gas availability has had a knock-on effect on customers in Togo, Benin, and Ghana, who are experiencing decreased gas supplies transported by WAPCo.

“The current situation is entirely out of WAPCo’s control,” the regional power utility added.

“We expect normalcy to return after the maintenance activities.”

ECG has assured the public that it is working collaboratively with other key stakeholders in the power sector to make the most of available resources, thereby minimizing the impact on consumers during the gas shortage period.

It comes barely two months after President Nana Akufo-Addo curtailed the export of electricity to neighbouring Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin in response to local supply challenges.

In recent years, power shortages have worsened as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Private electricity suppliers are owed $1.6bn (£1.3bn) by the state power company, according to Elikplim Kwabla Apetogbor, the head of the organisation representing them.

Ghana, a leading producer of gold and cocoa, has increasingly relied on gas for electricity generation in recent years.

Despite having hydro and thermal sources, which provide much of its electricity, the country’s infrastructure is often inadequately maintained.

Last July, threats were made by private electricity suppliers to halt operations due to unpaid arrears, highlighting the challenges facing Ghana’s energy sector.

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