Highlights from Global Trade Review West Africa 2023

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It was an incredible experience at the Global Trade Review West Africa 2023. The summit featured engaging discussions, insight-sharing sessions, and networking opportunities. We were privileged to be in the thick of the action as it unfolded.

The summit brought together thought leaders in the trade, supply chain, export and infrastructure financing industries. It created the perfect stage for lively debates and brilliant discourses on themes ranging from hard currency liquidity and sovereign debt sustainability concerns to the need to boost food security as well as support the development and growth of West African supply chains.

In addition to the insightful conversations, the summit also placed a strong emphasis on high-quality networking, giving ample networking breaks, lunches and an arena for participants to meet, greet, and exchange contacts.

Sunbeth Global Concept was represented by our managing director Olasunkanmi Owoyemi who had a swell time meeting with other brilliant minds in the industry and discussing collaborations with the potential to scale the volume, efficiency, and impact of trade and export in Africa.

Our Managing Director, Olasunkanmi Owoyemi Speaking During a Panel Session

While the summit featured several interesting sessions, the third panel session struck a major chord with us at Sunbeth Global Concept. The conversation was themed Scaling Sustainable Agricultural Production and Trade: The Virtuous Circle of Technology, Data, and Finance.

The panel had four participants including our Managing Director along with two other guest speakers and a moderator. During the discourse, each participant shared their educated and experiential knowledge on salient points pertaining to the initiatives and investments required to scale food production to meet local population needs while ensuring soft commodity export remains a key contributor to the national GDP.

Of the matters deliberated, one that resonated strongly was the key risk challenges restricting players in the soft commodity export industry and the measures to tackle these risks, considering that Nigeria is a tough terrain with regard to risk management.

While sharing his opinions, our Managing Director touched on poor and insufficient port infrastructure as a major risk challenge for players. He explained that this challenge is a product of deficient upgrades on the facilities available at the port, stating that some of the tools and equipment provided have been without improvements or modification for decades.

He highlighted the need for increased efficiency of port operations through process automation and digitization, as well as infrastructural upgrades as a countermeasure to this challenge.

In addition to that, he also cited insufficient research aid for farmers as another notable risk challenge in the sector. He explained that many soft commodity producers in Nigeria do not have the necessary expert inputs to help them improve their production processes and avoid pre- or post-harvest losses.

He emphasized the need for the government and major stakeholders to increase efforts and investment in equipping farmers with up-to-date knowledge to improve their production processes and generate outputs meeting industry standards.

Here at Sunbeth Global Concept, we have set up a Sustainability Team dedicated to equipping our farmers with the knowledge and tools they need to produce outputs that meet industry standards. Through this team, we organize capacity-building programs, train farmers, and provide them with the necessary tools to improve their processes and ultimately their products.

Our Managing Director and Other Speakers During the Panel Session

The panel also discussed the factors that encourage private sector participation in the agricultural value chain. Speaking here, the MD shared that bolstering protection for indigenous players will foster private-sector participation in the industry.

He buttressed that foreign off-takers with greater financial power often outbid indigenous players for products, which affects the ability of many private sector participants to compete. He expressed the need for measures that’ll ensure fair competition, protect indigenous players, and assure them of profitable engagement.

It was also observed that the success of other private participants will encourage more interested stakeholders to join the value chain. At Sunbeth Global Concept, excellence is a core principle, and we are dedicated to defending and promoting private participation in the agricultural value chain. 

Among the other matters deliberated during the summit were the pitfalls players face in the export industry and how to circumvent them. The primary point discussed here emphasized how understanding all the activities that go into export is crucial to identifying possible pitfalls and avoiding them. That includes being familiar with the export laws, contract agreements between the parties involved in transactions and being cognizant of the norms that customers from different continents expect.

The discussion also examined potentials for partnerships across public and private sectors towards optimizing agricultural exports. It culminated in calls for greater collaboration between government initiatives and private sector players towards this goal.

Overall, it was a riveting time at the summit which provided a platform for key industry players and thought leaders to engage with each other and discuss ideas for improving commodity trades and exports in Africa. Kudos to Global Trade Review (GTR) for setting up such a splendid conference.

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