By MBAFAN ADE –
Delegates to the first virtual business opportunities seminar (BOS) hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), were inundated with the Bank’s strategy for supporting economic growth, its priority areas, rules and procedures for project and corporate procurement, and ongoing public and private sector operations.
It was held virtually on 6 and 7 April, 2021 as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to a release made available to FRONTVIEW AFRICA today by APO Group on behalf of the AfDB.
The BOS seminars offer a one-stop shop for companies, civil contractors, manufacturers, consultants, and suppliers from the Bank Group’s regional and non-regional members seeking to provide goods and services to projects or to the Bank.
During the sessions staff discussed the sectors that offer opportunities for partners and suppliers: climate change; infrastructure, cities and urban development; industries and trade; finance and SMEs; agriculture; health, human capital, youth, and skills development.
“The Bank’s 2021 Business Opportunities Seminar was an impressive learning experience and an open door to interact virtually with different experts and gain insights into best practices and directions for conducting effective business approaches within the Bank,” said David Andrés Rojas Mejía, Senior Business Development Specialist at Catalonia Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.
Private sector partners contributed richly to the discussion, sharing their experience around partnering and contracting with the Bank. They included Kwame Boate, country director of TechnoServe Inc., (Ghana) and Cletus Kayenwee of the Rural Enterprises Program at the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade, who shared their experience contracting with the Bank on Ghana’s “One District One Factory” Enable Youth Program. The program aims to build the entrepreneurial capacity of graduate youth. Participants also heard from Abdelillah Zenjari, Deputy General Director of TEKCIM. He shared his experience partnering and obtaining a loan of €45 million to build a cement factory with a capacity of 1.4 million tons in the region of d’El Jadida in Morocco.
Over the years, the seminars have hosted approximately 2,500 delegates from 55 countries, with an average of 75% of delegates from non-regional member countries and 90% from the private sector.
For the Bank, the seminars increase interest in Bank-financed projects and enhance competition, thereby promoting higher-quality offers that deliver optimal value for money for its regional member countries.
“The sessions have also helped me to understand how to find opportunities for my firm by being better able to navigate your procurement framework and processes,” said Dede Watkin, Business Development Manager at Beale &Co, a participant.