By Ebiowei Lawal
YENAGOA- THE World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) has endorsed the city of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to host the 2018 Africa Roundtable Event.
According to a statement signed by the Director-General, Bayelsa State Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency(BYMEDA) – Mr. Ebiekure Jasper Eradiri, the Event is scheduled for 1st to 3rd of March, 2018 at the Chief D. S. P. Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall.
The statement further revealed that the program with themed ”The Position of Africa SMEs within the Global Economy: Unlocking Market Opportunities’’, will amongst others showcase an African Sister-Cities Trade Expo/Made in Bayelsa Trade Fair (MIB Fair) to boost Inter-African Trade, promote bilateral relations as well as provide a platform for Business-to-Business (B2B)/Business-to-Government (B2G) opportunities.
The Made in Bayelsa Trade Fair, it was learnt will also boost SMEs in the State and create avenues for business networking, it will further promote locally-sourced for and manufactured products.
Parts of the statement reads: “geared at awakening the SMEs in Africa for the necessary growth of African economies, about 15 African Countries, 25 African Development Finance Institutions, about 10 Global SME Funding Support Institutions, SME Experts, Angel Investor, Crowd Founders, Venture Capitalists, Franchise Agencies, etc. have also indicated interest to attend the event. .
“Furthermore, Trade and Finance Ministers, Government Agencies, Entrepreneurs, Academia, Business Membership Organizations, Banks etc are also expected to actively participate at the event.
“The African Union and its related bodies are inclined to attend with a view of examining policies, strategies, best solutions and programs to upgrade African SMEs and launch them into new growth trajectories.
‘Highlights of the event will include: Inauguration of the All Africa Association for SME (AAASME) by Alhaji Babale Girei (President, World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises – WASME); Unveiling of the SME Compendium: 6 Years of Bayelsa State Restoration Government; SME Workshop by NIESDUD of India; SME Solution Centre; Inaugural Board Meeting of All Africa Association for SME (AAASME) and a Bayelsa Experience & Tours to some significant sites like the First Oil Well in Nigeria, University of Africa and Bayelsa State Ecumenical Centre amongst others.
“The segment on Technical Roundtable Sessions will feature lectures and keynotes on SME Policy; Institutional Roles of Government in Promoting SMEs and Entrepreneurship in Africa; Lead Speaker – Dr. Akinwumi Adesina (President, Africa Development Bank); The Pragmatic Solution to Mitigate Africa – Europe Migration/ Refugee Challenge; Lead Speaker -Mr. Michel Arrion (European Ambassador to Nigeria); SME Finance; A Critical Factor for Promoting Economic Development in Africa, Lead Speaker – Dr. Tony Elumelu (Chief Executive, Heirs Holding and Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation); SME Opportunities In Oil and Gas Sector; A Local Content Recipe for African Nations; Lead Speaker -Engr. Simbi Wabote (Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board); Information, Communication & Technology; A Tool for Accelerated Transformation of SMEs; Lead Speaker – Dr. Jim Ovia (Founder/CEO Cyber Space Ltd.); Green Economy & Green Growth for SMEs; Lead Speaker – Mr. Msibi J. Dumisani, (Group Managing Director, Fincorp Mbabane, Swaziland); as well as Enterprise Development Ecosystem; Driving Inclusive Growth for Women and Youth Enterprises in Africa; Lead Speaker – Hon. Aisha Abubakar (Honourable Minister of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment).
“The statement also said that there are a minimum of six well-equipped Panelists comprising of Presidents, Vice Presidents, Ministers, Commissioners, Successful Entrepreneurs, Bank Executive Managers, Chief Executive Officers, Founders of Companies, etc. in each Technical Session with each session having a minimum of one flourishing Moderator.”