With the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, there is a need to drive more inclusive trade initiatives and expand intra-regional trade in the ECOWAS sub-region, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).
Osinbajo stated this at the weekend in Abuja at the inaugural gala night of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Promotion Organizations (TPO) Network.
The president of ECOWAS TPO Network is the Executive Director/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo; and the Vice President is the CEO of Cote d’Ivoire Export Promotion Organisation, Mr. Guy M’Bengue.
According to the vice president in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande,the TPO Network, which was established with the support of the International Trade Centre (ITC), “is a farsighted and insightful initiative of the ECOWAS, trade promotion organizations in the ECOWAS community.”
He added that the Network “must present a trustworthy platform for cross learning and the sharing of knowledge and information assets.”
The vice president said, “the vision of our Heads of State and Governments in resolving to establish this network (TPO) is to build a more robust and broader economic space for trade and investment. A major part of that effort is that the network serves as a platform for businesses and trade promotion agencies in our sub-region to share knowledge and business opportunities, and develop trade capacity in our sub-region.”
According to the ECOWAS, the TPO Network is a public-sector led entity and will work in partnership with the ECOWAS commission to drive inclusive trade development initiatives within West Africa and beyond.
Prof. Osinbajo further said the Network has world class human resource capacity to succeed in achieving its set objectives.