Abuja to Host International Shea Conference
By Dipo Olowookere
The 11th Annual International Shea Conference has been scheduled for Abuja, Nigeria, from March 12 to 14, 2018.
Addressing newsmen recently at her office, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, said her Ministry was ready to make the event successful.
She further disclosed that the International Shea Conference was being hosted in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and this year’s conference is with the theme ‘Going Further Together.’
Mrs Abubakar emphasized the importance of the conference which she said include the need for participants to learn best practices, build new partnership, launch projects and promote organizational setting and also open new markets for the industry’s products globally.
The Minister further said that, “The conference is also intended to reduce trade barriers, achieve sustainability with the current administration’s focus on agriculture.
“Nigeria stands to benefit immensely from the Shea industry through employment generation (for women and youths), poverty eradication, wealth creation, environment sustainability and attract foreign exchange earnings across the value chain.”
Mrs Abubakar disclosed that Nigeria accounts for about 57 percent of the world Shea nut production and that the global Shea market for chocolate/confectionary value is approximately $117 billion and that of the cosmetics industry, $382 billion.
The Minister surmised that the 2018 International conference no doubt explores the meaning of an African proverb that states that “If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Mrs Abubakar therefore, assured all that the expected outcome of the conference for participants is to learn how Nigeria stakeholders in the Shea value chain could positively impact on the global trends, re-align the industrial development and determine next step to sustain a gradual growth for another 20 years.