The French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, had arrived in Nigeria to open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron of France, dedicated to support the development of SMEs in Africa.
The initiative would enable the African continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.
A statement issued by the Press Officer of the French Embassy Nigeria, Onyinye Madu, said the visit was a follow-up on the priorities set by Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 as well as his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
According to the statement, “As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France-the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of $4.5 billion in 2019 and $2.3 billion in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘’The minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on May 18, 2021.’’
The objective of the minister’s mission, who will be in Nigeria between April 12 and 14, the statement said, was also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors.
“In this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector,’’ the statement added.