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Leo Burnett Lagos advocates strong retail market for Africa



R-L Lekan Lawal, Chief Operating Officer Leo Burnett Lagos, Anurika Azubuike, Founder Marketplace Africa, and Emeka Obia, Lead Strategist, Leo Burnett Lagos at the Future of Retail panel session hosted by Leo Burnett Lagos, at GAFCOMM Speak for Africa conference in Kigali, Rwanda

Leo Burnett Lagos, a Humankind company and a leading creative advertising firm has urged brand builders and communicators to discontinue the strategy of building retail across products but people.

Lekan Lawal, the Chief Operating Officer of Leo Burnett Lagos stated this at the recently concluded 2019 Global Africa Forum on Communications (GAFCOMM), held in Kigali the Rwanda capital, with the theme: Speak for Africa: New Frontiers for Africa’s Global Growth Story.

While speaking on the topic “The Leo Burnett Way” as well contributing at the panel session, titled “the future of retail in Africa”, Lawal said, “Retail should be designed around people, not products. It should be designed in the context of multichannel shopping. We must deliver a relevant message that meets our shoppers’ needs at every channel along her path to purchase.”

According to him, the battle is on the ground already.  Africa is one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world, he posited, adding “Household consumption has increased even faster than its gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years – and average annual GDP growth has consistently outpaced the global average.”

Lawal said “the vast majority of consumer spending on the continent still currently takes place in informal, roadside markets. But the consumer today holds the most power – better connected, and better informed. “So then, how can brands connect with these consumers in a manner that is resonant and relevant, in order to build stronger relationships, in their quest to push the growth Agenda,” he queried.


“This African consumer is driven by hope and fear; hence we must understand them to a granular level. The more confident they are, the more they spend. The less confident the more they go into saving mode. Deeper understanding the African consumer, both as a consumer and as a shopper therefore is crucial to winning in retail,” he recommended.

Speaking further on  “This is the Leo Burnett way”, the adman reinforced how his agency has helped various organizations solve complex retail problems, particularly withthe introduction of the ‘ARC’ tool, Leo Burnett’s edge to connecting with African shoppers, scientifically mapping their journeys and designing based on a deeper understanding of their behavior across various key channels.

Commenting on how Africa can solve it challenges through communication, Lawal said, “Most disputes are as a result of breakdown in communication. Africa must commit to a holistic campaign that deliberately projects its best to the world, and even more importantly work towards improving their continent.

“Communication will play a big role in fostering meaningful dialogue among different African nations, and nurture a shared vision for the continent’s future. Most developing countries have a diverse society. Some are deprived of access to the mass media, and thus ever silent in the process of national dialogue, Leo Burnett Boss said.

According to him, this great divide, both in terms of access to information and contribution to knowledge, generates social and political tension, not to mention horrendous economic injustice. “This cannot go on. We, in the field of communication, need to exert our best in bringing together the diverse cultures in the developing world into a mosaic with distinct parts or a fully integrated rainbow of colors that every citizen is proud of,” Lawal stated.

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He added that communicators are leaders. They help others see opportunities and current realities with a new lens, enabling everyone to act in harmony. He said however noted that only when citizens of a country have nurtured a truly shared vision, transcending personal agendas, can the process of national development reach the tipping point for accelerated growth.

“Indeed, a country may develop only when its leaders realize the wisdom in the principle – power shared is power multiplied, not power diminished.”

Also commenting on the future of marketing and building stronger human connections, Lawal said that” We must control our narrative as Africans, as we seek to connect with people. The human connection more than ever has become crucial, because the battle for brands now is on the ground – as people now expect brands to relate with them as humans not consumers.”

Leo Burnett Lagos partnered The Nerve Africa to host GAFCOMM, an annual event for industry practitioners described as the Davos of African communication where more than 200 leaders in public, marketing and corporate communications as well as more than 1,000 marketing, advertising and communications professionals attended in Kigali.

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Dangote Cement Woos Investors With N100 Billion Issue



Dangote Fertilizer


Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, is seeking to raise up to N100 billion in fresh funds from the bond market, under its NGN300 billion Debt Issuance Programme.

According to the Investor presentation document prepared by the company and themed: Building Prosperity in Africa, the funds from the  debut offering in the bond markets are to be utilised   to refinance existing short-term debt previously applied towards cement expansion projects, working capital and general corporate purposes.

The bond (medium term debt paper), Dangote Cement is issuing for the first time signifies confidence in business growth and in the Nigerian economy long term growth.

Dangote Cement Plc is a good offer for discerning institutional investors and high networth individuals as it is Nigeria’s largest company by market capitalisation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the largest cement manufacturer in Sub-Saharan Africa with an installed capacity of 45.6Mta across its’ operations in 10 African countries and operates a fully integrated “quarry-to-customer” business in 7 of its operations with activities covering manufacturing, sales and distribution of cement.

Also Read:  Dangote to double Zambia cement investment to $900m

The company which is Premium board listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), has a strong corporate governance framework supported by five Independent Directors while its shareholding base is diversified.

Dangote Cement posted an excellent financial performance in 2019 with
EBITDA margins of 44.3 per cent. It was rated ‘Strong financial profile including low leverage and significant operational scale.’ (GCR AA+(Ng) (Jan 20) Moody’s (Mar 20)

The company has a strong track record in the debt capital markets, having registered a NGN150 billion Commercial Paper programme in 2018, and issued an aggregate amount of NGN300 billion in Commercial Paper since programme establishment.


It also has a track record in Nigeria’s Debt Capital Markets as it raised an aggregate Issuance of N100bn under the Commercial Paper Programme in 2018, in 2019, raised an aggregate Issuance of N200bn under the Commercial Paper Programme.  These Commercial Papers were systematically oversubscribed.

Certain factors across Africa signal positive long term trends for Dangote Cement. There is an increasing demand for cement as urbanization continues across the continent, demanding more infrastructure, housing and commercial building. As democracy becomes entrenched in African states, it brings increasing political stability enabling rapid economic growth, growth in infrastructure such as roads, housing, schools etc built from cement.

With steady population growth, younger and more mobile population drive the need for building while the emerging middle-class, fuels increasing consumerization
and access to credit.

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Coronavirus: Sterling Bank Launches N1bn Health Workers’ Fund



Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank has launched a N1 billion Health Workers’ Fund to support frontline healthcare professionals who are taking care of persons infected with the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.

To kick-start the fund, the bank donated N25 million while some public-spirited individuals have also donated N2 million, bringing the amount raised so far to N27 million.

Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, who disclosed this over the weekend while addressing a virtual press conference hosted by the bank, enjoined well-meaning and public spirited Nigerians to contribute to the fund through the website of, a crowdfunding platform. Citing the unusually high rate of cases of healthcare workers infected by the virus in the course of treating patients in countries like Spain and Italy, Suleiman said it is imperative that tangible efforts are made to protect the healthcare personnel at the frontline of fighting the infection, especially given their low number in the country. “There was a particular point in Spain when 14 percent of those infected were healthcare workers, and we felt that if we were to have that level of infection among the limited number of healthcare workers in the country, the effect would be far-reaching and disastrous. So, we decided to intervene.”

According to Suleiman, the bank understands that getting the money with which to pay healthcare workers on the frontline and acquire protection equipment for them is critical.

Also Read:  Dangote to double Zambia cement investment to $900m

Consequently, the bank would be working with people who are experts in public health or connected with the healthcare system to identify the healthcare workers who are deserving of this intervention, he said.

“Combating COVID-19 is beyond the capacity of any single institution or sector. It is a crisis that is stretching the capacity of healthcare infrastructure and personnel world over. And stopping this pandemic requires the elimination of boundaries to resources. One way to do that is by setting funds aside to support brave medical responders at this time,” he added.

Expressing the hope that the fund will trigger a better way to treat health workers in the country, he disclosed that the bank has set up an independent Governance Board made up of seasoned health professionals to administer the fund while the bank concentrates on raising funds from various donors.

“Although we started the process but we have pulled back. We have set up a board that I am incredibly proud of. They will join us in solving this problem which is the most important part and they are highly respected which makes the process credible,” Suleiman said.

Commending Sterling Bank for setting up the Health Workers’ Intervention Fund, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Chairman of the governing board, promised that the board will evolve rapidly to stay ahead of COVID-19 developments and discharge its duty transparently. He assured Sterling Bank, the media and the general public that the board will do its best to ensure that the fund gets to workers at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. He thanked the management of the bank for its decision to focus on the often neglected area of incentivizing health workers. The Health Workers’


Intervention Fund “is such a good idea and critical intervention, so critical that we must hang on to this by ensuring we expand both the scope and need. You have turned over the stone that will meet many areas of need in the health sector,” he said. Other members of the governance board are Dr. Halimah Sanda, State Technical Lead Programmes at Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Kano; Dr. Victoria Omoera-Egunjobi, Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Health; Mr. Obinnia Abajue, CEO of Hygeia HMO; Ms. Oluwatoyin Adegbite-Moore, board member of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), and Mr. Daniel Ikuenobe, chairman of Edo State Economic Management Team and a Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on economic matters


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Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Unveils Additional Benefits For Customers Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic



Prudential Zenith


Following the launch of its Coronavirus (COVID-19) initiative, Prudential Zenith Life Insurance has announced some additional benefits designed to address the negative impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives globally.

According to a statement released by the company, the benefits which apply for a period of 45 days – from April 3rd to May 18th 2020 – will ensure that customers who have purchased or who intend to purchase any of the following Prudential Zenith Life products: My Family Protection Plan, My Family Protection Plan Premier, My School Fees Protection plan, PZL Term Assurance, PZL Hospital Plan and My Savings Plan-Premier will enjoy a ‘Diagnosis Benefit’, which entitles the insured who has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus by the State to a cash amount of thirty-eight thousand and a ‘Treatment Benefit’ of nine thousand daily for a maximum period of 25 days to cater for losses or incidental expenses.

The statement further noted that the company has reduced the normal waiting period from 6 months to 14 days for these benefits to apply to any new customer, while for existing customers, these additional benefits apply immediately.

Also, for any customer who has bought a policy from the company and who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is formally retrenched as a result of a business having to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will provide a three-month premium holiday. This means that the policy will not lapse and the customer will still enjoy the protection benefits of their policy even if they are unable to pay their regular premiums during this period. This is in addition to any ‘Death Benefits’ that are payable when due, as the company does not exclude death caused by COVID-19 under any of its policies.


To avoid any ambiguity, the company stated that it is important to note there are policy exclusions to this offering as listed below:
We are not liable to pay claims if:
1. Treatment is for any reason other than the contraction of the COVID-19 virus.
2. On or after the start of the policy, the Covered Person travelled to any country or area included in the list of “countries/ areas with active community transmission of COVID-19” as announced by the Nigerian Ministry of Health or World Health Organisation at the time of his/her travel.
3. The covered person is in self-isolation or hospitalised but has not been officially diagnosed and hospitalised by the State.

The following shall apply to new clients only:
a. The Covered Person(s) has already officially been diagnosed with or already has signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of signing on to the Plan
b. The Covered Person(s) was under mandatory self-isolation in the past 14 days from the time of registration due to close contact with an infected person or having demonstrated COVID-19 symptoms.
Other Important Points to Note
a. The benefits will be provided for all clients that qualify with active policies.
b. Benefit are also available to ALL of our customers who’s employer has taken out a Critical Illness policy with Prudential Zenith Life” to “Group Life policy with Critical Illness rider
c. A claim can only be made once in respect of each Insured Life.
d. Covered Lives refers to all lives covered under the policyholder’s active existing insurance policy (ies) and includes all named individuals covered under a Group Critical Illness policy taken out by an employer of those individuals.
e. An Active Policy is a Prudential Zenith Policy which has not lapsed, been cancelled or terminated and on which premiums are received as stipulated in the contract of that policy.
f. All claim substantiating documents, should be duly stamped and signed by the issuing authority.


Live life fully covered with Prudential Zenith.

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