The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri, as part of her mission to promote the international recognition of Nigeria, has confirmed to be in Paris this October for Spotlight Nigeria 2018, the foremost Forum for Nigeria-France companies, investors and businesses.
With a trade balance of 3.6 billion euros between Nigeria and France, and the heightened cultural interactions between both countries in recent months, the role and impact of the diaspora will be one big subject at this Forum.
Taking cognizance of the impact of the diaspora at this Forum, taking place from the 4th to 5th October, this year at the Marriott Rive Gauche Conference Center in Paris, the international collaboration between Nigeria and France is set to take a heightened level. According to a press release in January 2018, the Ambassador of Nigeria to France, Dr. Mrs. Modupe Irele, stated that there were about 30,000 Nigerian Professionals and Students living in France.
Spotlight Nigeria 2018 seeks to translate these figures into increased partnerships. With sectors of focus cutting across Agribusiness, Manufacturing, & Processing, Energy, Real Estate and Hospitality, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Digital Technology, Creative Industry, Education and Capacity Building, a number of sector-based case analysis will be done by industry leaders and expert from Nigeria and France.
Some Nigerians in France who are creating impact in strategic industries include Wale Gbadamosi Oyekanmi (CEO & COO of Dare.Win), Dr. Anino Emuwa (Founder of Avandis Consulting), Elé Asu (French-Nigerian Journalist), Dr. Emmanuel Igah (Founder and CEO, Phobos), Maître Okpokpo-Ebenezer (Professional Lawyer in Paris), among other industry leaders. Most of whom would also be present at Spotlight Nigeria 2018.
The Forum is set to create top of mind awareness about the investment opportunities within Nigeria, facilitate conversations with French investors and select Nigerians in the diaspora who are interested in investing in their home country. It will also support the government’s drive to attract foreign direct investment and create a call to Nigerians in the diaspora to give back and build the economy through direct and indirect means. With the realization that investors are willing to participate in the Nigerian economy, an involvement pull will be triggered for the implementation of a number of indigenous projects and opportunities from Spotlight Nigeria.
In other words, when strategic MOUs are signed at the Forum, there would be a case for the long-term monitoring and implementation of the business ideas, opportunities, and projects. Talking about the Key Performance Indicator of the B2B meetings and conference sessions, Abiodun Odunuga who is the Vice-President of FON puts it this way, ‘French companies will be meeting with Nigerian counterparts and they will be signing deals.’
From this edition of Spotlight Nigeria, the diaspora outlook held by Nigeria in France and in extension Europe will go beyond a hidden contribution made by Nigerians abroad towards the economy of their resident and home country, to a spotlight on the works, achievements and substantial economic contributions of Nigerian nationals in France.
Planned as an annual Forum for matchmaking business leaders, Mrs. Abike Dabiri is expected to deliver a keynote address and also meet with the Nigerians creating diaspora impact here in France, and other industry experts joining the delegation from Nigeria.
This two-day event is expected to close with a cocktail for interactions and networking, including a personal opportunity tour of the beautiful city of Paris.