Sterling Bank Plc, has announced that it is collaborating with Leadway Assurance, SaroAfrica Limited, GIZ AFC and AFEX Commodities to host the fourth edition of the Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2021, coming up next week.
Making the decision public, the group head of Agric and Solid Minerals with Sterling Bank, Mrs. Bukola Awosanya who disclosed this in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP Sunday, said: “Sterling Bank is collaborating with key financial institutions to identify and deliver actionable steps that will enable stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to maximise the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to Africa’s agribusiness industries for sustained long term growth, and facilitate sizeable investments to drive increased output across the agribusiness value chain.”
The statement also disclosed that the group managing director (GMD) of Saro Africa, Mr. Rasheed Sarumi, will deliver the keynote address at the Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2021.
Other notable stakeholders on the African continent in the agriculture space have also confirmed their participation at the fourth edition of the summit. Other partners are as listed by Stery Bank are Thrive Agric, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, GIZ AFC, Mastercard Foundation and Stears Data.
Awosanya, explained that the summit will hold remotely simultaneously in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Lagos between September 22 and 23, 2021.
She said, “ this year’s ASA theme is ‘Building The New Agro Order”.
According to Awosanya, Mr. Sarumi is an accomplished entrepreneur who spearheaded the growth of Saro Agro Sciences as the pioneer managing director from inception in 1991 till 2010. “He is currently the GMD of Saro Africa International, a group made up of companies with an interest in agro-input solutions, heavy agro-industrial processing and consumer goods.
She added that Mr. Sarumi is a graduate of Agricultural Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun State and an alumnus of both Harvard Business School in the United States (US) and Lagos Business School Executive Education in Nigeria.
She said Professor Benedict Oramah will also present a keynote address on the Green Mile – AfCFTA, Trade and Africa’s Agribusiness Economy on the opening day of the summit while Dr. Gerald Smith, Consulate General, Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon at the US Embassy, will present another keynote address on the closing day of the summit with the sub-theme: All-Inclusive Agriculture (Food Security, Raw Materials Production and Innovative Funding Solutions).
“On the opening day of the summit, there will be three-panel sessions to discuss the keynote address from different perspectives. Discussants in the first session will examine: ‘The Role of Financial Institutions in Facilitating Regional Trade under AfCFTA and AfCFTA and Agribusiness in Africa – Opportunities and Threats.’ The discussants are Abba Bello, managing director and CEO of NEXIM; Yusuf Yila, DDF CBN and representative of the minister of trade and investment and Ernest Aubee, ECOWAS Head of Agric.
She added that the session will be moderated and led by Kanayo Awani, vice president of AFREXIM and managing director and CEO of Intra-African Trade and Dr Ikechukwu Kelikume, head of Agribusiness Management Programme at the Lagos Business School.
Explaining further, she disclosed that the second session will discuss the theme ‘Non-oil Commodities Export as a Game Changer in the African Economy.’ She listed the discussants to include Dr. Vincent Isegbe, DG, NAQS; Ebenezer Idachaba, representative of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA); Ayodeji Balogun, MD/CEO of AFEX; Kenneth Obiajulu and Serge Seudieu, country manager of ACE Global. It will be moderated and led by Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, ED/CEO, Nigeria Export Promotion Commission (NEPC).
The statement stated that ,”On the opening day, the third session will examine the topic ‘Increasing Competitiveness in the African Commodity Markets.’ Discussants are Emomotimi Agama, SEC, Head of Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation and Bukola Awosanya, group head, Agric and Solid Minerals with Sterling Bank. It will be moderated by Yohannes Assefa.
She said beside the keynote address, the sessions will on the closing day, dwell on food security, building a resilient food production system, deploying innovative value chain financing in Africa, developing a flexible supply chain system to guard against uncertainty and digital financial services for smallholder farmers. Moderators include Bismarck Rewane, an Economist; Aksinya Sarokina, representative of GIZ/AFC and Professor Daudu of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.