• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Science of Trade Confab: Empowering entrepreneurs for global markets

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Entrepreneurs in Africa are faced with the complexities of local and international trade and therefore it becomes imperative to unlock opportunities for growth and success.

To unlock opportunities for growth, there is a need for comprehensive training on export readiness, trade facilitation, digital trade, e-commerce, and the utilization of trade policies.

Entrepreneurs also need to be equipped with expertise in trade, finance, logistics, and market access, driving economic growth, job creation, and a stronger naira.

The Science of Trade Conference proffers these sustainable solutions.

Hosted by Ascend Studios Foundation in partnership with group of organisations, including the United States Consulate, American Business Council, Venture Garden Foundation, XPT Group, Borderless Trade Network, and GFA Technologies, First City Monument Bank, Access Bank, and Rank Capital “Moni”, the inaugural edition of the Science of Trade Conference was designed to
empower African entrepreneurs with the requisite knowledge and tools required to succeed in local and international trade.

The conference, which took place from Monday, May 27 to Wednesday May 29, 2024 at the Landmark Event Centre, served as a significant opportunity
for stakeholders in the trade ecosystem to exchange knowledge and collaborate.

The Science of Trade Conference went deep into the complexity of trade, focusing on intra-country, intra-Africa, and global trade opportunities under structures like (the Africa Growth Opportunity Act) AGOA and (the Africa Continental Free Trade Area) AfCFTA.

Emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurs leveraging digital trade, e-commerce, and trade policies effectively, the conference aimed to unlock untapped potential for growth and
success.

“One of our mandate at Ascend Studios Foundation is that economic prosperity is a focus which was what propelled us to set up the Science of Trade Conference to bring the trade
ecosystem together for SMEs to engage with and we are pleased with the turnout and active participation of the panelists at this conference” said Inya Lawal, the President of Ascend Studios Foundation and Convener, The Science of Trade Conference.

The event highlights captured a welcome address by Mr. Michael Ervin, Political and Economic Section Chief. U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.

Other key features of the conference comprised keynote addresses that were delivered by Will Stevens, U.S. Consul
General in Lagos; Barrister Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA; Margaret Olele, CEO American Business Council; Julie LeBlanc, the U.S. Commercial Counselor to Nigeria who spoke on various subjects of discussions ranging from Leveraging the African Growth Opportunity Act for Market Access and Growth, The Power of Intra-African Trade for Continental Growth, Shaping current and future US-Nigeria trade and investment for mutual economic growth and prosperity amongst others.

Notable individuals in the trade industry also engaged in panel sessions and discussions about the trade industry where attendees where empowered and enlightened about collaboration, leveraging loans and unlocking trade finance and investments for trade.

Some of these panelists includes Babatunde Olomu, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area Command; Abiodun Adefolami Apena, Iyaloja General, Ikeja; Akiyemi Ajigbotafe, commissioner, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment;
Kola Awe, CEO, XPT Global Limited; Ken Ukaoha, President, National Association of Nigerian Tradrs, Ada Nwaonu, Deputy Director, Nigeria Shippers Council and other experts in the trade industry.

Speaking about the impact of the Conference, Oluwayemi, a participant at the Conference said “The Science of Trade Conference has been wonderful and during the conference, I’ve made decisions that I believe will take my business to the next level. I have
also met people I can partner with during this conference and I’m glad I did not miss it.”

The Science of Trade Conference presented a platform for networking and collaboration, facilitating connections among entrepreneurs, trade professionals, and significant
stakeholders.

Attendees actively participated in interactive sessions and panel discussions, fostering meaningful dialogues that paved the way for improved trade facilitation and
business growth.