SLC Resources Limited in conjunction with the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, is set to host the first West Africa Trade & Investment Forum(WATIF) Conference and Exhibition with the theme: “Enhancing Collaboration For Regional Development and Economic Impact”.
Scheduled to take place on the 27th and 28th of March 2018, at Lagos Continental Hotel, in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos.
The event which will bring together, key players across various economic sectors within and outside West Africa, will give special focus on four sectors – Agriculture, Manufacturing, Education Skills Development and Information and Communication Technology.
In a statment made available to BusinessDay, the organiser said, the 2-day event will consist mainly of keynote addresses, presentations, sector break-out sessions/discussions which will focus on identifying practical opportunities, challenges and recommendations for fostering impactful regional business collaborations/partnerships within each sector, and plenary sessions to present outcomes.
“The exhibition will showcase regional as well as global Educational and skills development, ICT, Manufacturing, Agricultural and Allied products, services and brands.”
The Special Guest of Honour for the WATIF 2018: Conference and Exhibition is His Excellency Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN, GCON).
The WATIF 2018 has various dignitaries and prominent organizations on board as Patrons, Partners, delegates and exhibitors. They include Nigerian Federal Ministries, the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FEWACCI), the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry,Mines and Agriculture, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry(NACCIMA), Nigerian Employers Consultative Association(NECA), British High Commission Department for International Trade(DIT), Donor Agencies ,Top-Level West African Government Officials, Financial Institutions, Investors, eminent dignitaries and Major stakeholders across the four above referred economic sectors from within and outside West Africa.
The WATIF conference stakeholder participation has been strategically designed to engraft the youths (SME’s).
“We cannot talk about successfully enhancing collaboration for regional development and economic impact without a focus on entrepreneurial mentorship, investment opportunities and networking for the youth (SME’s.)”
“The future of any society is in the hands of the youth. WATIF’s main objectives for inviting the youth (vibrant/dynamic SME’s) to the forum of top level industrial key players will help·bridge the already existing generational gap in the entrepreneurial world by mentorship and to eliminate the barriers and inefficiencies that can cause economic meltdowns in societies.”
The statment further highlighted that the conference will also help foster job creation and promote appropriate skills for employment of youths in West Africa and provide a platform to recognize innovation, ideas and talents of youths in West Africa.
On the aims of WATIF , the statement noted, it will enhance collaboration for regional development and economic impact by: Highlighting common/prevailing issues relating to the sector across West Africa, propose solutions/interventions to overcome challenges, highlight local and international funding/investment opportunities, and also enhance commerce through relevant stake holder networking.
“Flowing from the discussions at the conference there would be a preparation of a final “Strategic Action Plan” (“SAP”) which will place emphasis on the identified projects and investment opportunities in the four sectors, as well as ways and means of addressing the obstacles to investments particularly with regard to trade facilitation and policy. The SAP will take careful consideration of session participants’ deliberations and proffer ways in which the business communities of the participating countries can collaborate more effectively.”
“Sector Working Groups constituted with their key objective being to determine and develop sustainable frameworks to drive the implementation of the SAP.”
Lessons learnt from this event which will guide the planning, organizing and theme development for subsequent annual events.
The WATIF 2018 is a fee paying Conference and Exhibition. Delegates and exhibitors are expected to pay $500 and $2000 respectively.