Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Investment Forum Shows Opportunities in West Africa

by MMC
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International Trade Center

The forum brought together government, financial and business leaders from across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). They unveiled ways in which investments can improve agriculture and food security in West Africa.

The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) hosted the event in Lomé, Togo from April 4-5.

Go Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé opened the forum, organized under the theme “Transforming ECOWAS Communities in a Challenging Environment”.

She highlighted the need for a wide range of investments in human capital, energy, the digital economy and infrastructure.

Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaDirector-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), explained via video how regional integration can strengthen investments.

Simon Tiemtore, Chairman of Vista Group Holding, and Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts and innovative strategies to advance investment priorities .

Discussions during the forum focused on crucial topics such as food security, strengthening agricultural supply chains and strengthening security in West Africa.

The panelists proposed strategies to address the challenges of agriculture, highlighting the importance of cooperation and innovation for sustainable development.

They highlighted the major challenges related to access to finance, which seriously affect small businesses, particularly agribusinesses and young entrepreneurs. Among the solutions discussed were ways in which development finance institutions such as EBID could facilitate access to loans.

This is one of the questions that the International Trade Center (ITC) is addressing with the ECOWAS Commission through the West Africa Competitiveness Program (WACOMP).

WACOMP facilitated the participation of nine investment promotion agencies from West Africa. These agencies presented investment projects in their country. Delegates spoke with business leaders about investments in critical areas such as agriculture, infrastructure development, small business support, energy and climate change.

Participants deliberated on concrete projects and investment opportunities, with a focus on promoting employment, financing infrastructure and adopting climate-resilient energy solutions. Alongside ITC and the ECOWAS Commission, the delegation met with EBID management on how to strengthen collaboration to support the influx of investments into the region.

Distributed by APO Group for the International Trade Center.

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