Jonathan kicks off Diaspora Export Programme to improve global trade • Nigeria, Kenya to double trade in 2 years • Dangote to invest $400m in Kenyan Cement sector

President Goodluck Jonathan has kicked off the implementation of the Diaspora Export Programme, designed to improve trade between Nigeria and other countries of the world in favour of Nigeria.
The President said, during a meeting with the Nigerian community in Nairobi, Kenya, that the programme, laid down by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, would encourage the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises owned by Nigerians at home and abroad.
He said this just as the two countries began mechanisms to double trade between them within two years with the establishment of the Nigeria-Kenya Trade and Investment Council.
Already, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has approved the issuance of five- to 10-year visas to genuine Nigerian businessmen without restriction. He announced the approval while closing the Nigeria-kenya Business Forum on Friday.
He said, “One of my highest priorities as President of Kenya is to break various barriers against investment and trade among African nations. There is absolutely no reason why Africa should submit to poverty amidst so many opportunities.
“People to people contact will solidify and encourage businesses, especially between our two countries. To allow this to happen and ensure that people travel with ease, without restriction, I have instructed my Cabinet Secretary on Interior to give five- 10-year visas to Nigeria businessmen without any restriction.”
Jonathan urged Nigerians in Kenya to key into the DEP as a veritable means of ensuring that trade between both countries improved in favour of Nigeria, adding that Nigerian women in Kenya, who had complained of not being able to start businesses, should liaise with MITI on the steps to follow.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the objective of the Diaspora Export Programme was to “leverage on the presence of Nigerians living abroad, using their individual and collective advantage in these countries to advance the promotion of Nigeria’s non-oil export.”
According to him, the programme allows Nigerians in the Diaspora to organise themselves into groups or business associations, take advantage of trade and investment opportunities at home and export made-in-Nigeria products to their various countries of residence.
This, he noted, would provide a platform to enable quick and easy penetration of products and services of Nigerian origin into the global market while also making Nigerians resident abroad to have additional sources of income and become relevant both in their host and home countries.
Meanwhile, the private sectors of Nigeria and Kenya have mapped out strategies and put mechanisms in place to leverage on the competitive and comparative advantage of their countries for win-win trade and investment relationships.
Following the roundtable discussions between the private sectors of the two countries, the Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who led the Nigerian businessmen and also briefed participants, announced an investment of $400m by the Dangote Group in the cement sector in Kenya.
He said the two countries would collaborate in the area of tourism, agriculture and agro-processing, oil and gas, entertainment and manufacturing, among others.
On the one hand, Nigeria will help Kenya develop its capacity in the production of cassava bread, double its capacity at home and support the Kenya Film Commission on local content while its banks, beginning with Zenith Bank Plc, will invest in Kenya. On the other hand, Kenya will help train Nigerians in wild life preservation, assist in developing ICT innovations and invest in Nigeria’s Cotton, Textile and Garment Industry, among others.
The two Presidents, however, agreed that the fruitful interaction at the Nigeria-Kenya Business Forum was the beginning of good things for both countries.
“This is the beginning of great things that Africa holds for all of us. We have the capacity, the ability and knowhow to transform our continent. All we need is the will. And I can assure you that the political will is there now for us to prosper,” Kenyatta declared.
“We don’t just have the political will to do what is right for the two countries but the total commitment to ensure that our people succeed,” Jonathan added.

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