The ECOWAS Commission, under the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Nigerian National Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the European Union is organizing a workshop on business creation methodology and trade promotion.This training is taking place from 23 – 27 January 2023 at the NEPC headquarters in Abuja, which hosts the Executive Secretariat of the ECOWAS TPO Network.
The workshop aims to train front-line management staff from ECOWAS Member States to assist export-ready companies to participate in trade promotion events such as trade missions, trade shows, inward trade missions and Business-to-Business (B2Bs) events.
The workshop, according to the ECOWAS Commission statement, will also allow participants the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge, to better coordinate and manage trade promotion events as well as set up an evaluation mechanism, post-event activities, learning from international best practices.
Addressing the event participants, the President of the ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organizations (TPO) Network, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, ED/CEO of NEPC, stated that the workshop is an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among member states and build regional value chains.
He noted that regional trade flows need to be improved, particularly through fostering greater participation of regional businesses across value chains.
On behalf of Mrs. Massandje Toure -Litse, ECOWAS Commissioner responsible for Economic Affairs & Agriculture, the Ag. Director of Trade, Mr. Kolawole Sofola, highlighted the importance of promoting trade using the right instruments. “By learning different ways of supporting export ready companies, Member States would be better positioned to serve the interest of the region and contribute to wealth creation”, he said. He expressed hope that the knowledge gained by the trade experts from the training will better equip them to organize trade fairs and events and promote made-in-West Africa branded products.
The representative of the European Union, Mr. Frank Okafor, during his remarks, reiterated the commitment of the European Union in supporting the Network’s activities through the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), adding that the workshop provides an opportunity to find areas of collaboration and synergy among the Member States.
ITC’s Senior Program Officer, Ben Mohamed Imamo, welcomed the commitment and support of the ECOWAS Commission, the regional partner and the European Union which is the funding partner.
He also concluded that this training would assist the participants to better understand innovative tools in the field of trade such as business matching tools.