The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) has called for stronger synergy among stakeholders to grow the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa.
The National President of NASME, Dr Abdulrashid Yerima made the call on Tuesday at the virtual inauguration of the technical committee of the forthcoming ECOWAS /NASME African MSME Summit and Exhibition.
He said that the call was crucial in maximising opportunities to grow MSMEs in the continent.
Yerima said that modalities were in place to ensure a hitch-free 2022 African MSME summit scheduled for October in Abuja.
According to him, this year, NASME is collaborating with the ECOWAS Commission to organise the ECOWAS/NASME African MSME Summit and Exhibition.
“This is motivated by the ardent desire and zeal to grow and promote entrepreneurship.
“It is also crucial in strengthening formal and informal links and networks between operators of MSMEs,” he said.
Yerima added that the summit would provide a platform for the stakeholders to deliberate on challenges, opportunities and seek solutions to problems shared by African MSME and maximise the opportunities associated with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The summit will be one of the most important economic/commercial initiative of NASME and ECOWAS which is part of a larger strategy to take advantage of AFCFTA, diversify markets and promote trade within the continent of Africa,” Yerima said.
On his part, the Representative of ECOWAS Commission, Dr UmeEssien Enobong assured of the commission’s support and partnership to facilitate the growth of MSMEs in Africa.
“Our partnership started some year ago and I assure of our commitment to the project,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Eke Ubiji, Executive Secretary, NASME, identified inadequate capacity building, poor access to finance, infrastructural deficit, poor access to market and lack of adherence to quality and standard as some challenged hindering the growth of MSMEs
“MSMEs seen as engine of economic development but the level of importance attached to MSMEs in Europe is not same with Africa hence the need for this summit.
While canvassing for advocacy, Ubiji said “it has got to a level that we must engage in continental advocacy to help the sector in the continent.
” We can’t do it by staying far from each other,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the MSMEs Summit and Exhibition is an annual event of NASME in which the association has organized 18 in the past.
The last edition held in December 2021 in Abuja, brought to limelight the huge potentials of the AfCFTA for economic development through job creation, income generation, and structural transformation of the economies of African countries and Nigeria’s economy in particular. (NAN)