Ford Foundation, a group of experts and industrialists, has said it will draw attention to the economic opportunities in some of Nigeria’s industrial clusters and grow the made-in-Nigeria products. In a statement, the group said it would bring together stakeholders in its upcoming investment summit in Nnewi, Anambra State, the manufacturing hub located in the South-East part of Nigeria.
Pioneered by marketing communications agencies, TBWA\Concept Unit and C & F Porter Novelli, the statement said the investment summit with the theme, ‘Revitalising the manufacturing hub of Africa,’ was designed to leverage the already thriving industrial and commercial activities in Nnewi, and harness them for the wider economic development of Nigeria.
Expected to lead the conversations at the inaugural edition of the summit were a former presidential candidate and development economist, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu; Chief Executive Officer, Afrinvest Ltd, Ike Chioke; and West Africa Regional Director, Ford Foundation, Mr Innocent Chukwuma. Speaking on the Summit, Chief Executive Officer, TBWA\Concept Unit, Mr Kelechi Nwosu, said the Nnewi industrial hub should further be developed, and promoted as a model for economic growth in Anambra state and Nigeria in general.
Nwosu noted that Nnewi was a unique town where young entrepreneurs and courageous artisans with limited formal education exploited their wit to create amazing stories of manufacturing and industrialisation in Nigeria. He stated, “The overall agenda of the summit is to draw the attention of stakeholders to the benefits of revitalisation and rebranding of Nnewi as an industrial hub in Africa by leveraging on its past glory and current potential.
“We are also expecting this summit to start the formation of alliance development that will create a blended intervention programme involving policy makers, private investors and donor organisations (philanthropists).” Also speaking on the summit, Chairman C & F Porter Novelli, Chief Nn’Emeka Maduegbuna, said the event would be important in fostering collaboration among businesses to increase comparative advantage within Nnewi and environs.