3 July 2003

Zambia: Unilever Grows Bigger

UNILEVER South and East Africa says its local products are ready to compete with other products on the market following the change of its name from Lever Brothers.

Unilever managing director Tuyi Ehindero said yesterday at the official launch of the company at Lusaka's Inter Continental Hotel that the local operations would now join the global playing field and provide a lot of opportunities for customers and stakeholders.

Lever Brothers Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe have come together to form Unilever South East and East Africa and has become part of the global Unilever family which was operating in more than 130 countries.

Mr Ehindero said the name change would ensure continued transfer of wealth, expertise and knowledge from the sister Unilever companies worldwide.

The move would help the company make more savings and reduce operational costs.

"We will be able to share knowledge among companies and have a wider financial base. Customers will enjoy the same quality products from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and other sister companies," he said.

He said there would also be an exchange of personnel among the three countries to share knowledge and ideas.

Mr Ehindero said Unilever would now be identified with the US$50 billion strong Unilever corporate investment.

Information and Broadcasting Deputy Minister George Chulumanda commended the company for providing affordable products in Zambia where disposable income was low.

Mr Chulumanda said Unilever had not only been providers of affordable and relevant products to the Zambian people but also employers and trainers in commerce and industry.

He said the company had kept its commitment to society by implementing programmes on education, HIV/AIDS and children.

"On the area of education the company was building a community school in Ndola, the Dag Hammarskjoeld memorial community school," he said.

Mr Chulumanda said Government would continue supporting companies which rendered service to the country.

And Unilever chairman Malcom Hughes said the company worldwide employed over 260,000 people.

He said as one of the biggest investors in Africa Unilever was eager to continue improving the welfare and well being of customers and citizens.

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