Africa Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (AAASME), a continental advocacy body with the objective to promote, support, develop and protect the interest of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ecosystem in Africa holds its summit in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.
The event, with the theme: Agenda 2030 & 2063 Boosting IntraRECs/African Trade with Innovative Financing of SMEs & Informal Entrepreneurs” was declared open by Mr. Opaluwa John, a deputy director, Industrial Development, in the ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, commenced on Sunday Jan. 27, at the Chief Dappa-Biriye Hall of the newly opened Golden Tulip Hotel, Yenagoa.
In his brief remark, Opaluwa John, who represented the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, described the day as a very important one in the history of SMEs, noting that it was rare for a state government to single-handedly show case made in the state goods.
This, according to him, “is in tandem with the Federal Government’s programme on the development of SMEs, just as he expressed the hope that indigenous businesses would be positively affected.
Director-General of Bayelsa State Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency, Ebiekure Eradiri said the event was an opportunity to develop and promote local enterprises in the state and Nigeria in general.
The representative of the minister of state inspected various items on display by local entrepreneurs during the “Sister-City Trade Expo
The first technical session was on “Business Linkages for Accelerated Growth of African SMEs.
Secretary to Bayelsa State Government, Mr. Kemela Okara was expected to perform the formal opening ceremonies and welcome remarks for the summit
President of AAASME, Amb. Chandon Kheswer Jankee among several dignitaries, including the Minister of state for trade and investment, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), African Union Commission ( AUC ), African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSSOC), ECOWAS Commission, Head European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation, Nigeria, Director General, SMEDAN, and Managing Director, Nigeria Export-Import were also expected to make their remarks in course of the event.
While the state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson was expected to deliver a paper on the restoration administration’s strides on SMEs development.
Other events lined up include, unveiling of Bayelsa Enterprise Start-up Hub (BESH) and
launch of the Enterprise Development Centre at the University of Africa, Toru Orua.