Interview: Nigeria Needs to Develop its Halal Value Chain to Compete Globally

Nigeria’s quest to become the leading hub for the Halal Market in Africa hinges on developing a robust value chain, that provides innovative products and services.

Diana Sabrain  CEO/Co-Founder OneAgrix disclosed this in a recent conversation on the opportunities for deepening the Halal market in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sabrain said Nigeria also needs to key into a strategic shift to adding value to the commodities and raw materials it exports to global markets. The trade expert underscored the importance of Halal certification, which would put the country at a vantage point in global markets.

She stressed that it was time for stakeholders in the industry in Nigeria to work together to provide pathways for its growth and development.

She made a strong case for Agric-processing to be given more attention in the country, arguing that it would catalyze efforts towards export diversification away from crude oil.

Speaking further on OneAgrix she described the B2B e-Commerce for Agriculture and Halal as the proposed AfCFTA trading platform for centralised digital trading. An online marketplace to increase Africa’s intra-continent trade by reducing trade barriers, giving trade exposure, as well as solving logistics and payment issues, for Agriculture and showcasing the African continental Halal market.

She added that the platform could support Nigeria’s agenda of becoming a key Agro-Industrial hub with the capacity of feeding the continent.

With recent news articles about meat fraud in the Halal sector, the OneAgrix Platform founder believed that this is the time to talk about the safety of food products looking at traceability, standardization, and the entire ecosystem. OneAgrix works as an ecosystem by partnering and collaborating with numerous players, including experts from the sciences, data analytics, among others, to enhance trade certification and improve cross border trade activities.

With the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in effect since January 1st, 2021 Sabrain tasked the region on leveraging the AfCFTA to accelerate development in the Agro-sector and adopting blockchain technology in boosting food production.

She cited the example of how Veticash a fintech company partnered with OneAgrix in Nigeria to facilitate regional and global cross-border trade.

Giving her perspective on how an integrated Africa economy could be achieved under the AfCFTA, she stressed the need for digitalizing the Agric sector, which was where technology platforms like OneAgrix could provide technical support.

In achieving a digitalized Agric-sector she said the Federal Government had a major role to play in providing the necessary policy support.

She highlighted the five food pillars to include;

  • Food quality,
  • Food safety,
  • Food defense,
  • Food security and
  • Food authenticity.

She noted that these pillars were crucial in facilitating broader and safer global food value chains.


WebTV’s Islamic Finance Weekly will be featuring a robust conversation on Islamic Finance, Agric Development & Trade Connectivity”.

Guest: Diana Sabrain, CEO, OneAgrix

Date: Friday, March 12, 2021

Platform: Under ‘Banking’ tab for webTV/

Host: Bukola Akinyele-Yisau

Key Discussion Points

  1. The OneAgrix As A Trading Platform And Its Objectives For Feeding Nigeria 
  2. Digitization Of Trade And Its Impact On The Halal Market
  3. How an Integrated African economy Can be Achieved Under the Dispensation of the AfCFTA
  4. The Covid-19 Pandemic And Its Impact On The Global Food System
  5. Understanding The OneAgrix Objective for Developing A Robust African Market
  6. The Importance Of Fair Trade To The Global Food Market
  7. The OneAgrix Plan To Work With Stakeholders In The Nigerian Commodities Ecosystem to Spur Trading for Agro-based Commodities

Guest Profile

Diana is no stranger to the rigours and battles of entrepreneurship. She has more than a decade under her belt starting, executing and growth hacking companies. She started her first business at 17 years old determined to help her family get out of poverty weathering the Asian financial crisis.

She has led in B2B2G negotiations to facilitate large scale tendered projects and billion dollar developments in agrifood, hard commodities and infrastructure. This gave her experience in cross-border trade including payment, regulations and logistics. A dealmaker who understands the time-sensitive nature of physical commodities trading, she negotiates deals at a high level with decision makers, mine owners and operators directly, bypassing the middlemen.

She was the youngest nominated Youth Chairperson for SPBWA (Singapore Professional and Business Women Association) (2008) and mentioned in a speech by Singapore’s minister at the Istana, presidential palace as a young entrepreneur whom demonstrated “Community excellence”. She also appeared on national newspaper, magazines in “Wonder Women”, “Next Big thing” segments on topics of entrepreneurship. 

Diana is an authority figure on topics of global trade, geoeconomics and technology focusing on solving Agri-food and Halal food supply-chain, food security and food safety challenges. She is an established speaker, often invited to conferences and think-tanks around the globe, joining hundreds of World leaders from more than 70 countries, representing business, government, academia and civil society. Currently, Diana is the CEO/Co-Founder of OneAgrix