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Saro Africa, Leadway Assurance, Thrive Agric to headline Agriculture Summit Africa 2021 with Sterling

Sterling Bank Plc has said that Rasheed Sarumi, group managing director (GMD) of Saro Africa, will deliver the keynote address at the Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2021.

In a statement issued by the bank, other notable stakeholders on the African continent in the agriculture space have also confirmed their participation at the fourth edition of the summit, organised by Sterling Bank in collaboration with Leadway Assurance, Saro Africa, Thrive Agric, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, GIZ AFC, Mastercard Foundation and Stears Data.

According to the release, Bukola Awosanya, group head of Agric and Solid Minerals with Sterling Bank, disclosed that the summit would hold remotely simultaneously in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Lagos between September 22nd and 23rd, 2021. She said that the ASA 2021’s theme would be titled ‘Building The New Agro Order.’

Awosanya, who described Sarumi as an accomplished entrepreneur who spearheaded the growth of Saro Agro Sciences as the pioneer managing director from inception in 1991 till 2010, said: “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 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.

Read Also: Sterling Bank to host Africa’s biggest Digital Agriculture Summit: ASA 2020

According to her, 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 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).

The release also stated that on the opening day of the summit, there would 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.

The session will be moderated and led by Kanayo Awani, vice president of AFREXIM and managing director and CEO of Intra-African Trade, and Ikechukwu Kelikume, head of Agribusiness Management Programme at the Lagos Business School.

The second session will discuss the theme ‘Non-oil Commodities Export as a Game Changer in the African Economy.’ Discussants include 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 Olusegun Awolowo, ED/CEO, Nigeria Export Promotion Commission (NEPC).

It also announced that on the Opening Day, the third session would 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.

The sessions on the closing day, besides the keynote address, will 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.

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