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35-year-old Shalom Bako Dangombe from northern Nigeria, Bauchi, spends his day encouraging farmers to grow hibiscus flowers.

When you put “hibiscus” and “Nigeria” in one sentence, it brings the popular Zobo drink to mind—made from the dried red sepals of the Roselle plant (Hibiscus Sabdariffa). 

As managing director and founder of Afrivana, Shalom Bako Dangombe is a name that has become synonymous with the importation of Nigerian commodities like hibiscus flowers and shea butter into the US.

The company specializes in importation and distribution of African products, Dangombe has carved a niche for himself in the highly competitive world of international trade.

At Afrivana, Dangombe oversees the importation of a wide range of African products into the US, with hibiscus flowers and shea butter being among the company’s most popular commodities. Hibiscus flowers, which many call Zobo (from the Hausa word, Zoborodo), are used in herbal teas, while shea butter is a popular ingredient in cosmetics and skincare products.

Bako Dangombe, founder of Afrivana

To ensure that Afrivana’s customers receive only the highest quality products, Dangombe has established strict quality control measures, including sourcing from reputable suppliers in Nigeria and ensuring that all products undergo rigorous testing before they are shipped to the US. This has helped to establish Afrivana as a trusted supplier of African products in the US market.

In addition to his focus on quality control, Dangombe has also established strong relationships with key players in the Nigerian agricultural sector, including farmers, processors, and exporters. This has allowed Afrivana to secure reliable and consistent supplies of hibiscus flowers and shea butter, even in the face of supply chain disruptions and market fluctuations.

To further strengthen the company’s operations, Dangombe has invested in technology and logistics infrastructure that streamlines the importation process, from sourcing and shipping to warehousing and distribution. This has allowed Afrivana to offer competitive pricing and fast delivery times to its customers, further enhancing the company’s reputation as a reliable and efficient supplier of African products.

Afrivana’s product evacuation

Through his leadership and vision, Shalom Bako Dangombe has positioned Afrivana as a leading player in the importation and distribution of African products in the US market. With a focus on quality, reliability, and efficiency, Afrivana is poised for continued growth and success under Dangombe’s guidance.

With the passage of time, a few customers have expressed interest in procuring commodities that are not featured on Afrivana’s website. Consequently, the company has imported fonio, tamarind, and turmeric to cater to the growing demand. Afrivana aims to transport more than a thousand tonnes, that is, over 100 containers of various products this year, 2023.

By Elijah Christopher 



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