• Friday, March 01, 2024
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BusinessDay

France seeks increased bilateral trade with Nigeria

French week 2023

Magaly Losange, deputy director and cooperation attaché for French Language, has reiterated France commitment in increasing its bilateral trade relationship with Nigeria.

Losange who disclosed this during activities to mark the 2023 French Week celebrated recently in Nigeria, elaborated on the French government campaign in promoting its strengths in industry, economy, innovation, and cultural vitality.

According to her, this can inspire future generations and help them better understand how to be prepared to embrace global opportunities.

Speaking further, the deputy director said, “We aim to inspire and enable understanding of why Nigerians should consider learning French or engaging in business or studies in France.”

She noted that given Nigeria’s geographic, diplomatic, and economic context, mastering French remains a priority.

“We aim to showcase professional opportunities through the testimonies of Nigerians engaged in French-related ventures.”

Losange noted, “Choosing France equates to embracing boldness and innovation, a message resonating well in Nigeria, known for its dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Also, the French Week is a signature event for gathering of C-Level business executives in Nigeria. It also fosters future generations’ readiness for global exchanges and organised by The French Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).

The event also featured a panel session where successful Nigeria-French business owners shared their experiences.

Deborah Gael, founder of Koolboks, a French startup operating across 24 countries with a substantial presence in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted their mission to make refrigeration affordable and accessible, especially addressing the dire situation of food waste due to inadequate storage options.

Gael said, “Our innovative solar-powered cooling solution, accompanied by a ‘cooling as you go’ service, caters to Sub-Saharan Africa’s pressing need for refrigeration and reduction of post-harvest losses.

“We prioritise women empowerment, with 60 percent of our customer base being women, including farmers and SME owners.”

Also at the event, Adamu Garba Gwarzo, president of Maryam Abacha American Universities (MAAUN Group), stressed the advantage of bilingualism and the need for Nigerians to embrace French as a second language for international opportunities.

Gwarzo who is also the founder of four universities, Maryam Abacha American University of Niger and Nigeria; Franco-British International University Kaduna; and Canadian University of Nigeria, Abuja highlighted the necessity of updating Nigeria’s education curriculum to foster global competitiveness and empower youths.

He said “We are trying to change the narrative and will not allow other African citizens to be the only beneficiaries of international job’s in organizations such as the African Union while our children are only local job seekers.”

Read also: ‘France has designated Nigeria priority country for digital and creative sectors’

Additionally, Dominic Okutue, procurement manager at SPIE Oil & Gas Services, stressed the importance of French language training in their operations to bridge cultural divides and enhance transparency between France and Nigeria.

“The French language helps remove imaginary boundaries, brings people together, it helps remove imaginary boundaries, and preaches transparency in our organization,” he said.

The event served as a testament to the FNCCI’s commitment to fortify Franco-Nigerian economic bonds and promote linguistic diversity, signaling a promising stride towards fostering international collaboration and opportunities for Nigerians.