To accommodate its growing operations and number of employees, the world’s leading chemical company, BASF, has recently opened a new regional headquarters for West Africa, situated in Lagos, Nigeria.
BASF began doing business on the African continent about 90 years ago focusing on the key industries of construction, textiles, automotive, agriculture, plastics, and healthcare sectors. The expansion of the existing office and the construction chemical plant in Nigeria will now increase BASF’s footprint on the continent and will nurture partnerships and innovation geared towards sustainable growth.
Speaking at the office opening ceremony, BASF Vice-President and Head of Market Area Africa, Dr Michael Gotsche, said “In line with the company’s growth strategy in Africa to invest in local presence and local production, our expansion in Nigeria will allow us to respond to challenges arising from the competitive conditions in the market, while also extending our reach to more customers.” BASF has, in recent years, opened offices in Nigeria, Zambia, the Ivory Coast and Kenya.
The Special Guest of Honor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, who formally commissioned the new regional headquarters, expressed delight at the growth of BASF West Africa, commended the management of the organisation, and reiterated the commitment to making Lagos State a business-friendly environment. He encouraged other multinational organizations to follow in the steps of BASF by establishing new factories and expanding existing operations within the state. He said: “It is heartwarming that BASF is making progress in Nigeria and expanding its operations here in Lagos State, the commercial capital of Nigeria. We will continue to make Lagos State an investment haven, and we call on all organizations to make the best use of all we have on offer in as we continue to strive to make doing business a lot easier within the state”.
Managing Director for BASF West Africa, Dr Jean Marc Ricca, said that he was particularly glad this new regional headquarters was being launched as part of the activities during the week of the Africa Leadership Team meetings taking place in Nigeria. “This clearly demonstrates the confidence that BASF has in Nigeria and speaks to the continuing investments of the company in Nigeria,” he said.
Dr. Ricca also took the opportunity to announce that an application laboratory for personal care is going to be opened at the beginning of 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria. With the establishment of local competence in application and formulation technology, BASF intends to broaden its technical service for Ethnic African hair and skin care applications. Located in one of the fastest growing beauty markets in the region, the laboratory will serve the needs of the personal care industry across all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The personal care laboratory is the first of several laboratories that are in the pipeline from different Business Units. These laboratories are being built to allow our customers to take full advantage of the available expertise and solutions offered across BASF’s broad portfolio that ranges from performance products, plastics, chemicals, cosmetics, oil and gas as well as crop protection products. BASF aims to ensure that new and existing customers get the service and support they need,” said Ricca
U.S. Promotes Cross-Cultural Collaboration as 13 American Writers Participate in Ake Festival
The United States Mission in Nigeria has renewed its support for Nigeria’s burgeoning community of creative writers and artists with its participation at the 2018 Ake Arts and Book Festival.
The U.S. Mission was one of the major sponsors of the 2018 Ake Arts and Book Festival, an annual event which showcases the best of contemporary African literature, poetry, music, art, film, and theatre.
In its sixth year, the Festival with the theme “Fantastical Futures” was held October 25-28. Delivering remarks at the opening ceremony of the Festival, the Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks, expressed admiration for the creative abilities of Nigerians across various forms of human endeavor.
“One key ingredient that assures a fantastic future in Nigeria is the depth of creativity found here – in all fields, whether I’m meeting an entrepreneur or an artist, I’m always impressed by how Nigerians work tirelessly to solve problems, to develop solutions, and to generate prosperity.”
“Nigerians definitely make things happen and they do so with ingenuity and resourcefulness. That creative quality is sure to generate a fantastic future! ” Brooks said at the event, attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo along with several diplomats and a broad range of Nigeria’s creative community.
With the support of the U.S. Mission, thirteen leading American writers also participated in the Ake Arts and Book Festival.
The American authors included Elizabeth Bird, Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida; Mona Eltahawy, New York-based columnist and international public speaker; Nnedi Okorafor, award-winning novelist and professor at the University of Buffalo; and Tochi Onyebuchi, author of the widely-acclaimed fantasy “Beasts Made of Night.”
In addition to the participation of the American writers, visiting U.S. Arts Envoy Wanjiru Kamuyu performed a dance, “Portrait in Red,” for the Festival’s guests.
The Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, in Abuja and Lagos, supports programs that bring American cultural leaders to Nigeria to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate with Nigerian cultural leaders. Through these people-to-people connections, the U.S. Mission hopes to foster a deeper relationship between the people of Nigeria and the United States.