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I am honoured to welcome you on behalf of the World Brand Congress to this Press Conference to share details of a series of exciting and prestigious events coming up between October 21st-23rd 2013 at Taj Lands End Mumbai, India. The World Brand Congress is a not-for-profit making activity organized to bring together the best brains behind many of the world's most successful brands. The World Brand Congress is strategically partnered by the CMO(Chief Marketing Officers) Council USA and CMO Asia which together have a combined membership strength of over 6,500 members who control more than $350 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 35,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets.

The theme for World Brand Congress 2013 is "SUSTAINABLE BRANDS" and 500 Participants from different countries (150 International and 250 Participants from India) are expected at the event. There will also be about 100 invited Guests, Speakers, Dignitaries and Award Nominees.

We are delighted to announce that Nigeria will be represented at the World Brand Congress 2013 in India. Several Nigerian brands have been nominated for prestigious awards in various categories. The WBC commissioned an independent and comprehensive survey of brands in Nigeria in order to identify the most socially responsible brands which have made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of their respective communities. In alignment with the theme of this year's congress, the WBC also gave premium consideration to sustainability branding and evaluated accordingly.

Among the brands which scaled the rigorous nomination criteria from Nigeria under different categories include key players in the banking, oil and gas, manufacturing and other sectors of the national economy.

The quality and calibre of the nominations is a fitting tribute to the innovative initiatives which have defined the character of Nigerian brands.

We shall be silent on these nominees so we don't appear to be campaigning for them as the competition very stiff. Therefore, further information on the Nigerian brands nominated would be provided at a later date when the WBC Awards Screening Panel releases the list of winners.

A very notable nominee is the Leah Charity Foundation, a Non-Governmental, Non-Religious, Non-Partisan, Not for Profit Organisation, established to sincerely and strategically address the development challenges synonymous with the developing societies of the World. The Leah Charity Foundation was established by Mrs Lewa Ahmed, a philanthropist and First Lady of Kwara State. LEAH is an acronym for Life Empowered Anchors Hope and the charity was inspired by Mrs. Lewa Ahmed's experiences with people challenged by their stations in life. Leah Charity Foundation's fight against under development, is based on the SHE Model, which translates to Social Welfare, Health and Education and is driven by the belief that the world can be a better place if every stakeholder contributes in the struggle to eradicate the development deficits confronting the world. The World Brand Congress is honouring Leah Charity Foundation for the following achievements:
  • LEAH's Omolewa Safe Motherhood Initiative....a unique homegrown initiative which has greatly reduced infant and maternal mortality through affordable healthcare delivered to the people of Kwara State, with emphasis on women and children under five years. Under this initiative, maternity wards across the state are being upgraded and equipped to achieve the vision.

  • Clinic on Wheels Initiative....LEAH virtually takes healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the people in the form of Examination, Analysis, Treatment and referrals . The Rural Communities that constitute a substantial part of Kwara State have tremendously benefitted and the World Brand Congress commends the configuration of LEAH's projects to suit the operating environment.

  • LEAH Sight Support Scheme......provides free eye tests and glasses, auto-refraction services, surgery referrals, pathology tests etc to both the rural and urban populace.

  • LEAH Medical Trust Fund focuses on the alleviating the financial burdens of getting tertiary Medical attention for health challenges such as Surgeries and treatment for terminal diseases. The Trust Fund also has provisions to care for women with Birth complications,multiple births births and Caesarian sections. Children deprived of breast milk as a result of their Mother's death, health conditions especially people living with HIV/AIDS and infants whose mothers are unable to lactate properly are taken care of under this scheme.

  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening.......This is a very big project being managed by LEAH CHARITY FOUNDATION. There are three screening centers in operation and a screening center has just been completed. It is an architectural master piece, well equipped with mammogram machines with charges being put at the barest minimum to make it affordable for the people. This has created a lot of awareness among the women and significant positive impact among stakeholders.

  • LEAH's achievements in child care is not limited to health as there are various other laudable initiatives such as Adopt a Child, Education Trust Fund and the Reading Club. LEAH Charity Foundation's Adopt a child initiative is a well thought-out scheme aimed at ensuring mass enrolment of children in schools through Advocacy, sensitization, monitoring and collaboration with relevant Government Agencies, Civil societies and the Private sector. The initiative also encourages well-to-do indigenes and residents of Kwara State and Nigerians in diaspora to adopt indigent children for Educational sponsorship.

LEAH Education Trust Fund
The LEAH Charity Education Trust Fund is based on the Foundation's strong belief that Education is the bedrock of Communal development. The Fund is specially focused on ensuring that indigent Kwara State citizens are educated by offering grants and scholarships. LEAH Reading Club is an initiative to positively influence the promotion of a robust reading culture among the youths pivoted on Entertainment and Education.

LEAH Charity Foundation is also focused on poverty alleviation through a tripartite approach including;

1. LEAH Women Empowerment Scheme

2. LEAH Youth Empowerment Scheme

3. LEAH Widow Empowerment Scheme

The World Brand Congress has therefore nominated LEAH Charity Foundation under the Women and Child care category and applauds the Brand sustainability of LEAH's initiatives. Information on other nominees like the GTB, BAYWOOD CONTINENTAL Ltd etc from Nigeria and further details on the level of Nigerian involvement in this globally prestigious event will be provided at a later date. It is hoped that all the Nigerian Brands nominated will ultimately emerge winners in their respective categories so as to encourage even greater contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

The 2013 World Brand Congress offers an exciting platform for business networking, brand showcase and global integration. We are delighted that Nigerian brands have achieved recognition on a global stage and have been competitively positioned with peer brands from all over the world. This is a major source of pride to the brand management sector in Nigeria and we urge all stakeholders to continue to work together to support this wonderful initiative, and plan to actively participate in the 2014 and future congresses.

Thank you for listening and God bless you

Kofo Olaosebikan (Mrs)
26th September 2013.
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