By John Okeke and Chioma Oforkansi
More than 200 delegates from over 15 African countries and 70 business representatives from India including 20 CEOs of leading Indian industry are expected to converge in Abuja on Monday for India-West Africa Business conclave.
India and West Africa have a combined population of around 1.7 billion people and a combined GDP of around $3.1 trillion, setting the stage for taking India-West relationship to the next level .
The combined GDP of the 15 ECOWAS states, with a population of over 370 million people, is estimated to over half a trillion dollars.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday during a press briefing, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr. B. N. Reddy, said the conference will create an opportunity for people to people business engagement.
He said: “Representation from all the 15 ECOWAS countries including some ministerial delegation makes this conclave an ideal platform to bring together leading stakeholders, including business leaders, policy leaders, entrepreneurs and thought leaders of India and West African countries to explore new opportunities for building mutually empowering partnership . Besides Business to Government (B2G) and Business to Business (B2B) interactions, several B2B deals between companies from India and West Africa are expected to be discussed and nurture on the sideline of the conclave.”
“Building on its growing partnership with the resurgent Africa continent, the cii and EXIM Bank are organizing the Indian-West concave in the Nigerian capital Abuja on October 8-9, 2018. The conclave seeks to some of the fastest growing economies in the African continent.
“In a gesture that underscores the new energy and vigour in India-West African relations, Mr. Suresh Prabhu , Minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation and Mr. M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs will be leading 70 member strong business delegation to participate and address the conclave,” he said.
“The participation of two seniors Ministers from India this conclave reinforces the importance India attaches to deepening and diversifying its multifarious relations with the resurgent African continent,” he said.
“India is increasingly expanding its trade with energy-rich West African countries,” he added.