The Chairman of the National Quality Council (NQC), Osita Aboloma, has revealed an exciting prospect for Nigeria to capitalize on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) by tapping into the vast export potential of cassava products, thus boosting the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Aboloma’s Chief of Staff, Bola Fashina, emphasized the golden opportunity for various stakeholders in Nigeria’s cassava value chain to leverage initiatives fostered by the African Union Commission (AUC), the Pan African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI), and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO). With Nigeria’s dominant position in cassava production within the continent, the potential for growth and development is immense.
The upcoming African Cassava Conference, set to take place in Abuja from October 15 to 17, 2023, is dedicated to the theme: “Stimulating Africa’s Industrialisation Through Development of and Assuring Quality Along The Cassava Value Chain.” Aboloma believes that such initiatives can greatly enhance intra-African trade, boost economic prosperity for Africans, and strengthen the continent’s trading relationships on the global stage.
Applauding the efforts of the African Union Leadership and the PAQI in promoting quality infrastructure, Aboloma assured the Local Organising Committee (LOC) members of the National Quality Council’s unwavering support to ensure the conference’s success. The Council is committed to collaborating with the African Union Commission, the PAQI, and other stakeholders and development partners in Nigeria and across Africa in initiatives related to promoting quality standards.
Aboloma challenged the LOC members to work collectively and harmoniously to ensure Nigeria’s successful hosting, further advancing the goals of the AfCFTA Agreement for the greater benefit of the entire continent and its people. He encouraged them to bring their expertise, experiences, and patriotism to ensure the triumph of the African Cassava Conference.
The Local Organising Committee includes representatives from various organizations and institutions, such as the Nigerian National Accreditation Service (NiNAS), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Agribusiness Group (NABG), HarvestPlus Nigeria, Marbles & Gardens, Ekap Achi Foundation, and ABOMAX Group as event managers.
The African Cassava Conference is set to attract participants from all corners of the continent, ranging from farmers, processors, importers, exporters, manufacturers, research institutions, agricultural financial institutions, to government agencies and the media. With this assembly of diverse minds, the stage is set for Nigeria to seize the cassava opportunity and unlock its export potential, leaving a lasting impact on Africa’s economic landscape.