DAI hosts “Accelerating Competitiveness” roundtable in Abuja

DAI roundtable event—Accelerating Nigeria’s Improving Agricultural Competitiveness: Lessons from East Africa—in Abuja, Nigeria.

DAI yesterday hosted leaders from the Nigerian government and local business people for a roundtable on leveraging the country’s increased competitiveness for agricultural productivity and broad-based economic growth.

The country’s improved position stems from business-friendly reforms and a devalued and stabilized currency—which makes investing inside Nigeria more affordable and exporting more profitable.

“Nigeria has done a good job in recent years at chipping away at its bottlenecks for doing business; this resulted in strong improvement to our World Bank rankings,” said DAI Country Director Dr. Joe Abah, who hosted the roundtable at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja. “With this improvement, combined with our more affordable investment climate, there has never been a better time to initiate business development in Nigeria.

The roundtable, titled “Accelerating Nigeria’s Improving Agricultural Competitiveness: Lessons from East Africa,” featured discussions on successful donor-funded assistance in areas such as finance, investment, and trade that can be applied Nigerian agribusiness and beyond.

Panelists included Juan Estrada-Valle, Chief of Party of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, and Bill Grant, DAI’s Global Practice Lead for market systems development.

“We are excited about Nigeria’s potential for economic growth, including in marginalized states that have millions of people who are ready to step up,” Abah said. “This roundtable generated some strong recommendations for development. There is no doubt that Nigeria is ready to usher in great growth.”

In addition to the distinguished speakers, discussions featured senior representatives from international donors, civil society, and implementing partners, including: Dr. Aimiuwu Osagie and Jodi-Kaye Wade of USAID, Richard Ough of the U.K. Department for International Development, Yakasai Abba Bello of the World Bank Growth, Employment, and Markets in Nigeria programme, Olumide Ibikunle of Corteva AgriScience, and Ekenem Isichei of the Corporate Council for Africa.

“Accelerating Nigeria’s Improving Agricultural Competitiveness: Lessons from East Africa,” is the second in a series of high-level events collectively known as the “DAI Development Matters” series.

It seek to strengthen the nexus between central governance institutions (such as planning, budgeting, and human resources) and service delivery performance in key sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, and trade and investment.

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