Key De­vel­op­ment and Fi­nance Up­dates

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Contents - Com­piled by Daniel Iyanda

Re­port shows China as ma­jor sup­plier of arms to Africa

EXX Africa, a busi­ness risk in­tel­li­gence firm, has re­ported that China is ac­tively po­si­tion­ing it­self as a ma­jor sup­plier of arms to the African con­ti­nent. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, en­ti­tled: “The Se­cret Chi­nese Arms Trade in the Horn of Africa”, China is step­ping up its ship­ments of weapons to con­flict zones through Dji­bouti in the Horn of Africa.

The Horn of Africa is the east­ern­most part of the African con­ti­nent. It de­notes the re­gion con­tain­ing Dji­bouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Be­yond the commercial ob­jec­tive of in­creas­ing sales of Chi­nese man­u­fac­tured weapons and mil­i­tary equip­ment, the re­port claims China also seeks to con­trol a greater share of the weapons trade in Africa to pro­tect its ex­ten­sive in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments on the con­ti­nent.

China, on the back of the One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive – a de­vel­op­ment strat­egy aimed at en­hanc­ing re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity and em­brac­ing a brighter fu­ture – has made mas­sive in­vest­ments in East Africa, in­clud­ing rail­way lines, hy­dropower dams, and new port projects in coun­tries such as Kenya, Su­dan and Ethiopia.

The re­port stated that China is pre­par­ing to fa­cil­i­tate large-scale ship­ments of weapons and mil­i­tary equip­ment to African coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly Su­dan and South Su­dan. Cen­tral to this strat­egy is China’s mil­i­tary lo­gis­tics base in Dji­bouti, which also has a strate­gic port in a ma­jor ship­ping lane.

Dan­gote tops rank­ing of most valu­able brands in Nige­ria

Brand Nige­ria, a mar­ket­ing re­search firm, has ranked Dan­gote Group the most valu­able brand in Nige­ria for 2018. The com­pany, in July, had also emerged the most ad­mired brand of African ori­gin in a sur­vey car­ried out by Brand Lead­er­ship in con­junc­tion with the Johannesburg Stock Ex­change.

The CEO of Brand Nige­ria, Taiwo Oluboyede, stated that 46 per­cent – the equiv­a­lent of 23 out of the listed top 50 brands in Nige­ria – are Nige­rian brands. Oc­cu­py­ing the sec­ond po­si­tion on the list is MTN Nige­ria, fol­lowed by Globa­com, Guar­anty Trust Bank, Coca-Cola Nige­ria, First Bank of Nige­ria, Unilever Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, and Du­fil Pharma Foods.

“We used the Brand Strength Model (BSM in­dex),” Oluboyede said, ex­plain­ing how the eval­u­a­tion of the top 50 brands was car­ried out. “It is a model that mea­sures a brand’s abil­ity to de­liver on its prom­ise to the con­sumers from the con­sumer’s point of view. The model uses ba­sic qual­i­ta­tive el­e­ments and there are seven vari­ables that goes into the BSM model.”

The Chief Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Of­fi­cer of Dan­gote Group, Anthony Chiejina, said the ex­pan­sion of the busi­ness – espe­cially the Ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing arm, which has op­er­a­tions in 14 African coun­tries, in­clud­ing Nige­ria, Benin, Ghana, Sene­gal, South Africa and Zam­bia – has added to the pop­u­lar­ity of the Dan­gote Group and its prod­ucts.

Nige­rian mi­grant re­turnees par­tic­i­pate in busi­ness skills train­ing

The In­ter­na­tional Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Mi­gra­tion (IOM) has an­nounced that more than 2,000 Nige­rian re­turnees have par­tic­i­pated in busi­ness skills train­ing pro­grammes in La­gos, Edo, Nasarawa, Kano and Kaduna states, since it launched in April 2017.

The spokesman for the United Na­tions agency, Paul Dil­lon, stated that the just­con­cluded train­ing course grad­u­ated 270 par­tic­i­pants. He said the re­turnees at­tended the week­long train­ing in La­gos, the commercial cap­i­tal of Nige­ria.

Dil­lon added that the train­ing would be fo­cus­ing on cre­at­ing more sus­tain­able businesses, and not just on reg­u­lar trad­ing, buy­ing and sell­ing. Hence, the con­cen­tra­tion on agri­cul­ture-re­lated businesses, which are more sus­tain­able and more ben­e­fi­cial to the com­mu­ni­ties of the re­turnees.

IOM plans to or­gan­ise a job fair later in Septem­ber in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the La­gos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try and the Min­istry of Labour. This will give the re­turnees op­por­tu­nity to meet lead­ers in the pri­vate sec­tor and find jobs to match their skills.

Many of the re­turnees, ac­cord­ing to Dil­lon, have also be­come in­volved in the col­lec­tive rein­te­gra­tion schemes or com­mu­nity-based projects such as fruit juice, palm oil and plan­tain pro­cess­ing fac­to­ries.

Chi­nese sci­en­tists de­velop new wound dress­ing ma­te­rial

Re­searchers at the Xi’an Ji­a­tong Univer­sity in Shaanxi, China have de­vel­oped a new kind of ad­he­sive an­tibac­te­rial hy­dro­gel that can be used in wound heal­ing treat­ment. The re­search was pub­lished in the Bio­ma­te­ri­als jour­nal.

The self-heal­ing, in­jectable hy­dro­gel has mul­ti­ple func­tions as a wound dress­ing, espe­cially for joint skin dam­age. And ac­cord­ing to the re­port, de­sign­ing wound dress­ing ma­te­ri­als with an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties, ther­a­peu­tic ef­fects and suit­able me­chan­i­cal prop­er­ties has prac­ti­cal sig­nif­i­cance in health­care.

Hy­dro­gel wound dress­ing have gained pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years. With high ad­he­sion, the hy­dro­gel can seal wounds of any shape, and bonds with the wound’s edge, pro­vid­ing a phys­i­cal bar­rier against con­tam­i­nants while stim­u­lat­ing moist skin con­di­tions.

The hy­dro­gel, also, can help stop bleeding and pre­vent wound in­fec­tion, pro­mot­ing rapid heal­ing of the wound. The skin-like ma­te­rial ex­hibits stretch­able and com­press­ible prop­er­ties, which sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce dis­com­fort as­so­ci­ated with tra­di­tional wound dress­ings.

Pres­i­dent and CEO, Dan­gote Group, Aliko Dan­gote

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