The Most Overlooked Fact About Promoting Trade & Investment in Africa.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Nigerian Trade & Investment Road Show organised by the UKTI, I must say this was a very good event and I must commend the organisers UKTI and NIPC for a great job.

I was very inspired by the strong desire by all involved for positive impact on the continent. It was really good to know that there are people in power who genuinely share the vision of building a better Africa.

During one of the sessions I met with the chairman of the British-Nigeria Chamber of commerce and we got talking about the work they do. I asked him how they go about promoting trade between UK and Nigeria through the chamber of commerce and it turns out they host several events over the course of the year.

There is that narrative that small to medium size businesses can boost economic growth on the continent, so I wanted to find out more about their events, who was attending and how effective they events were.

You see NBCC is a great organisation that can do a lot to increase and enhance trade between the two countries but I feel the could increase the effectiveness of their efforts, it was clear that the actual people that will benefit from their events and efforts are not being reached in ways that will create maximum impact.

This is a challenge being faced by so many other organisations and government agencies that are working to promote trade on the continent.

As I have always said and I reiterate we need to change the way we think to change the things we do. We have to question the impact our current format of conferences are having.

Clearly the traditional ways of doing things are not effective in Africa today. And now is the time for all of us to sit back and re-think what works and what doesn't.

Information is power, we need to democratise good quality information and make it accessible to all those small to medium size business that need it to grow.

This is 2016 and with all the technology available to us today we should be able to reach and empower our would be business leaders in quicker and more effective ways than we are doing at the moment.


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