The 2nd ECOWAS Business Forum which has been scheduled to take place at ‘Quaga 2000’ Conference Center in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will commence tomorrow Wednesday 11th February 2009, with a meeting of the regional business groups and associates.
The operational theme for the forum is "Harnessing Agricultural Potentials through Regional Partnerships." The forum is expected to feature exhibitions of goods and services from businesses in the region.
The broad objectives of the forum include reviewing the implementation of the Action Plan adopted at the 1st ECOWAS Business Forum which was held in Accra, Ghana from 29th – 31st October 2007; adoption of concrete and measurable strategies and action plans to engage the private sector more effectively in the implementation of integration programmes and projects, particularly those concerning the promotion of agribusiness (e.g. rice production) and food security in the region. The forum will be used as an opportunity to inform the West African private sector and other partners/investors on the status of regional integration in West Africa, with particular emphasis on current opportunities and frameworks for investment and enterprise promotion including Public Private Partnerships (Agriculture/Agribusiness, SMEs, infrastructure – telecoms, energy, etc) international business collaborations (e.g. ECOWAS – China, West Africa – EU, etc) and trade, to facilitate engagements.
The forum will also be used to adopt modalities to strengthen regional network associations like the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce, the West African Manufacturer’s Association, Federation of Business Women and Women Entrepreneurs, FOPAO, NEPAD, Business Group West Africa, West African Road Transporters’ Union (WARTU) and the Wet African Rice Producers’ Association.
Meanwhile, the Head of Current Affairs Division and Acting Editor of the Awareness Times newspaper, Abdul Karim Kabia, has been invited by the ECOWAS Commission to join other journalists from around the world to cover and report on the activities of this all important forum. Accordingly, Kabia is expected to leave the shores of Sierra Leone for Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso today.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.