Nigeria kicks off plant-based revolution with the launch of ProVeg Nigeria
16 May 2023
We are excited to announce the newest member of the ProVeg family: ProVeg Nigeria! Building on their past achievements, the team comprises veteran Nigerian experts, who have already made a substantial mark in the country over the past few years!
Nigeria presents ample opportunities
Nigeria is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with a population of 200 million that is predicted to double by 2050.1 It is a land rich with opportunity and culture. With a diverse cuisine that ranges from jollof rice to egusi soup and zobo (hibiscus tea), Nigerian food is filled with flavour and colour.
Nigerians’ meat consumption is currently on the rise, which raises concerns about the country achieving its climate goals as well as the threat of health epidemics. As such it’s important that Nigerians are provided with information about the many benefits of choosing a plant-based diet.
Nigeria’s vegan scene is blossoming: meet a local entrepreneur who’s leading the way
Hakeem Jimo, CEO of VeggieVictory – one of Nigeria’s first vegan protein producers – is bringing plant-based protein into the mainstream.
From local Veg fest to international food awareness organisation
It all started with the hugely successful Lagos Veg Fest, which was rebranded as ‘Naija Veg’ in order to expand the project across the country. Since then, the team has developed various programmes and campaigns, including a Veggie Challenge to help spread awareness about the need for and benefits of plant-based eating.
Prior to joining the ProVeg global network, the Nigerian team had already been conducting outreach at schools, churches, and mosques, as well as getting plant-based options on the menus of restaurants and Nigeria’s street-food vendors. The team also worked with the catering departments of hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals in order to offer plant-based meals that promote better health. Such initiatives will continue and grow under the ProVeg banner.
Meet the ProVeg Nigeria team
Hakeem Jimo, Director of ProVeg Nigeria, is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to advancing plant-based living in the country. He is the co-founder of both Nigeria’s first vegan restaurant and its first plant-based food-tech company, VeggieVictory. These experiences have helped Hakeem to figure out how to develop plant-based offerings that appeal to the Nigerian palette.
Getting people to try out their favourite dishes using plant-based ingredients is key. Once they see how tasty it can be, they are more open to hearing about how important plant-based diets are for their health and for the planet.
Chef Bola Adeyanju
Programme Manager for ProVeg Nigeria
And so, the team has taken to the streets, offering food tastings at busy marketplaces and universities. Programme Manager Bola Adeyanju has been instrumental in making all of this possible. As a plant-based chef, entrepreneur, and ambassador for Chefs for Change, Bola is passionate about the richness of plants and African cuisine. “I love being able to share with my fellow Nigerians just how easy and delicious plant-based versions of their favourite dishes can be.”
Hakeem and Bola are joined by Marybeth Ubanwa, Campaign and Communications Manager for ProVeg Nigeria and a self-proclaimed plant-based crusader. With a degree in International Law and Diplomacy and a postgraduate certificate in Technology and Management, Marybeth will draw on her analytical skills to grow ProVeg’s reach in Nigeria and beyond. She is committed to advancing ProVeg’s mission to support the transformation of the global food system, which is urgently needed to fight against climate change.
We are confident that this new country branch – our second ProVeg office in Africa, after ProVeg South Africa – will make a big splash in Nigeria.