Polite Business Gifts Under US$100 in Kano
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Polite Business Gifts Under US$100 in Kano

In general in Kano gifts are given in business to promote goodwill and foster good relationships. It is considered polite to give a gift of fruit, nuts or chocolates and all of these you can purchase for under $100.

Doing business in Kano, Nigeria is very different to doing business in the United States. There are a lot of rules about business etiquette that do not apply in the Western world.

Business is not done on the telephone and is always done face-to-face and never until after breakfast. Formal attire is expected and both men and women should wear conservative, yet lightweight, business suits and women should never wear a skirt above the knee.

Nigerians love being greeted and will honour you if you offer them respectful greetings. In general gifts are given in business to promote goodwill and foster good relationships and gift giving is common among business people in Nigeria. Gifts do not have to be expensive but the gesture is a sign of respect and friendliness.

There is also a strong protocol about gift-giving in Kano and other parts of Nigeria. If you are visiting Kano on business and are invited to someone's home to discuss it you should take fruit, nuts or chocolates and give the gift to your host. If he has children it is a good idea to take something for them as well.

Gifts should be wrapped and it does not matter what colour the paper is but do not be surprised if the recipient does not open it straight away.

Gifts should be given using your right hand, or both hands together, but never use your left hand. Using your left hand to give gifts or business cards is taboo in Nigeria.

If your meeting is with a business woman and you are a man then you must tell her the gift is from a female relative such as your wife, mother or sister as it is frowned upon for a man to give a gift to a woman in Kano.

During Ramadan, which is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, muslims give gifts of food or fruit. The dates of Ramadan differs according to the moon but in 2011 if was from 1st-29th August and in 2012 it is from July 20th-18th August.

If you are going to Kano from America on business and want to take something traditionally American click on to the Bulk Foods website as they have the perfect polite gifts to take with you.

  1. California Mix Gift $17.99. An all-American gift tin containing an assortment of raisins, pineapple, banana chips, apricots, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts, brazils, coconut, dates, pecans and filberts.
  2. Fruit Pack $22.49 A gold gift tin containing a gourmet dried fruit assortment of medjool, dates, apricots, gourmet ground dates, rolled coconut, pineapple, papaya, prunes and California figs.
  3. Old Time Candy Mix $18.95. A golden glow tin containing an assortment of most of the old time American candy favourites from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

For something a bit more exotic but more difficult to take with you is a Holiday Cheer Keepsake Basket from Astor's Gift Shoppe This costs $69.00 and contains

  • 1 4.5oz Peppermint Crunch Gourmet Bar
  • 1 3oz dark chocolate Sea Salt Bar
  • 1 3oz Black and Tan bar
  • 1 2oz Holiday Joy milk chocolate bar
  • 1 Holiday Joy 2oz dark chocolate bar

Easier to pack from the same company is the Demitasse Selection $23.00 which is an acrylic box containing a mix of milk and dark chocolate bars.

As the people of Kano like nuts and sweets you can take a gift containing a mix of the two from Vosges Chocolate for $50.

The new tower box contains 100% organic chocolate treats including

  • Organic Wink of the Rabbit caramels with roasted organic pecans from New Mexico
  •  Organic mini candy bars
  • Organic peanut butter bonbons

Whatever gift you decide to give you cannot go wrong with fruit, nuts or chocolates, all of which you can purchase for under $100.

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Interesting read