On Thursday, August 29, 2013, Nestlé officially launched its MAGGI bouillons fortified with iron in Niger, providing consumers of that country with a product that is intended to help contribute to improving the nutritional and health needs of the people, particularly women and children.
The event, which took place at the Grand Hotel in Niamey, was chaired by the Nigerien Minister of Communications, M. Yahouza Sadissou, who has the additional responsibility as Minister of Trade.
Also present at the function were the Deputy Minister responsible for Population, Women Empowerment and Child Protection, M . Daouda Ali, heads of decentralized departments and agencies, as well as members of women and consumer associations.
In his opening remarks, Georges Nanjip, General Business Manager for Nestlé Niger, refers to studies confirming that malnutrition due to micronutrient deficiency is a public health problem in Africa, affecting people of all ages, regardless of their socio-economic status.
Nestlé, he said, took the decision in providing food packages such as the iron cum iodine fortified MAGGI tablets in a bid to ameliorate the situation because the company is committed to the nutrition and health needs of the people of the Savanna area.
Country Manager for the Savanna Cluster, Giacomo Chiocca, was pleased that Nestlé is introducing in Niger a product which was the result of many years of scientific research on the dietary habits and nutritional needs of the people.
He assured that the Nestlé Group, as the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, shall continue to use its expertise to manufacture products that will help promote the well-being of the people".
"MAGGI intends to position itself as a pioneer in the popularization of food fortification as this is the responsibility of the brand to its consumers, reinforced by the frequent use and penetration of the product in Niger".
The Deputy Minister responsible for Population, Women Empowerment and Child Protection, M. Daouda Ali, was very supportive of the decision by Nestlé to fortify its food packages with nutrients critical for growth and wellness.
"How can we accept the effects of disorders due to iron deficiency, while jeopardizing the educational prospects of millions of children merely because we are unable to protect them from the negative effects of micro-nutrient deficiencies which could have impact on their cognitive development?”, queried the Deputy Minister.
He then declared: “We cannot accept this state of affair and that is why we are supportive of Nestlé’s project, which aims to improve the health of women and children".
The Minister of Communication assured Nestlé of the support of his outfit in addressing the health needs of the people, quoting statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization, which indicate that the cost of under-nutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies accounted for nearly three per cent of global Gross Domestic Product, making the issue of fortification an urgent issue for all.
Before the launch, a lively press conference was held to introduce the product to the Nigerien media.