Kwara state has signed a €500,000 memorandum of understanding with a French consulting firm, BRLingenierie (BRLi), to develop the livestock value chain in the state.
The French company, BRLI, is tasked with conducting a feasibility study “on the modernisation of the livestock value chain in the Lata grazing reserve.”
This agreement was signed when Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the French minister of state for development, Francophonie, and international partnerships visited Ilorin on May 30, to mark the growing cooperation of France with Kwara State in agriculture and culture.
Nigeria has been France’s leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth in Africa behind Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, with oil and gas at the heart of the economic relationship.
In 2019, natural hydrocarbons and other extractive industries products accounted for 97 percent of Nigeria’s exports to France, which made up the lion’s share of trade ($3.9bn).
Likewise, France is Nigeria’s second-largest bilateral creditor after China through the Agence Française de Développement, which has invested more than $2.4bn in the past 10 years.
During Zacharopoulou’s visit, a second MoU, on formalising the relocation of the Alliance Française Ilorin within the Innovation Hub, was signed.
The Embassy of France and the French Ministry of Foreign affairs contributed to the relocation of the Alliance through a grant of €10,000 to complement the annual operating grant.
Later, the French minister of state visited the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute, chosen by the French authorities as a pilot training center to implement a €600,000 grant programme dedicated to the development of technical education of women in agriculture.
The minister also toured an exhibition of local agricultural products presented by women entrepreneurs. Zacharopoulou said the projects illustrate the potential of the cooperation of France in the agriculture and agribusiness sector in Nigeria and would contribute to women’s continuous capacity development, to serve their needs, expectations, and dreams.
Accompanied by Samuela Isopi, head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria, the French official visit is the first one by a foreign Minister in Kwara State.