Over the years, it has given me immense pleasure to build the DL Group of Companies into a world class brand. Our vision of producing exceptional excellence has now spread out to all our companies and in the process, greatly expanded our market reach to the entire East African region together with parts of Europe and Asia.
Back in 2013, I was driving through the streets of Eldoret when I noticed the industrious efforts of young people in every corner of those streets. From the newspaper vendors and fruits vendors to the matatu drivers and shop attendants, they were all doing their best to create jobs and earn a decent living. As I watched them working with enthusiasm and diligence, I felt very strongly that I should support the youth empowerment efforts of the government by establishing an industrial park in Eldoret. An industrial park that would reward the industrious nature of young people in that County and Country at large. Consequently, the Africa Economic Zone was born, making it Kenya’s first ever privately run special economic zone.
Known as AEZ Pearl River, this industrial park caters for a multitude of industries from different sectors of the economy including agro-processing, chemical and construction.
Plans are already in place for phases two and three comprising of a science and technology park together with Olympia City, mixed-use development that will be home to hotels, a shopping mall, local and international schools, entertainment and recreational areas, a state of the art hospital, modern hotels and up to 4,000 residential units. This will be a first, as such integrated development has never been done before.
The same spirit of pioneering the path of excellence has been evident in our other ventures. We were among the first to grow purple tea in Kenya; we were among the first to build a shopping mall in Mombasa; we have become the biggest tea producer in Tanzania, among others. Achieving all this has been very good for our bottom line. But even more satisfying has been the thousands of jobs that the DL Group has created in Kenya and Tanzania plus several other countries in the world.
I am very passionate about the plight of young people in Africa and I am committed to ensuring that the DL Group continues creating sustainable livelihoods for them.
Our business partnerships cut across three continents and include both private and public sector players. The result of this is a synergy that has greatly strengthened our business. Consequently, we have experienced annual growth on a consistent basis. We have expanded not just geographically but also into new business ventures.
Indeed, our partnerships are a great testament to the endless possibilities that can be achieved when private sector players join hands with the government in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in developing countries.
In order to play an active and sustainable role in the many communities where our work is located, we founded the DL Foundation. It has already laid out a comprehensive strategic plan that will guide our social interventions especially in the educational, environmental and youth empowerment arenas.
I welcome you to join me as we continue in this quest to nurture world class excellence and become the best known, most successful innovative Group of Companies in East Africa and eventually the entire Africa.
“In whatever you do, strive to be the best at it.” Aliko Dangote