In Nigeria, ‘Queens of Africa’ Dolls Outsell Barbie

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LAGOS— With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed some years ago when he couldn’t find a black doll for his niece.

The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist – traditional Nigerian costumes.

Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his “Queens of Africa” and “Naija Princesses” a month, and reckons he has 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market. Read more at Voice of America

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