France leverages energy and technology to deepen ties with Nigeria

France leverages energy and technology to deepen ties with Nigeria

Olivier Beche, France’s Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractions and French Abroad, said the technology, agriculture and energy sectors are most likely to deepen bilateral trade ties between France and Nigeria in the future.

He said this at the France-Nigeria Economic Summit held in Lagos yesterday. The summit was part of the annual French Week event organized by the French-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The summit also included a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony and several deals were announced, particularly in the field of agribusiness. Raedial Holdings and Compagnie Fruitière have signed a Memorandum of Understanding announcing a project to grow bananas in Cross River State. FanMilk (a Danone brand) has engaged Koolboks, a start-up co-founded in France by a Nigerian entrepreneur, to use innovative refrigerators in its delivery operations. Other agreements were also signed in the area of ​​renewable energy.

He said the implementation of the reform agenda had raised high expectations among French businesses and investors, and said Nigeria was an important economic partner for France, praising the exceptional density of economic ties between France and Nigeria. At the same time, he said, Nigeria is ranked number one as a trading country for France. A partner in sub-Saharan Africa, it accounts for more than 20% of France’s trade with the region.

“France is one of the top investors in Nigeria, with over $10 billion in equity. Together, the 100 or so French companies permanently resident in Nigeria employ over 10,000 people in the country across a wide range of sectors. They employ employees, most of whom are Nigerian. These French companies are not just selling French products; they are investing in the Nigerian economy, creating jobs, factories, farms, and vocational training centers. “We are doing so,” he said.

The Summit established that agriculture is a central aspect of economic prosperity and self-reliance.

“Healthy agriculture reduces the need to import food from abroad, keeps food prices down, provides jobs for rural young people and creates opportunities for all. We believe France is a natural agribusiness partner for Nigeria.”

The minister also announced that for the first time ever, Nigeria will be represented at the Paris International Agricultural Show in February next year.

Becht said France wants to support the efforts of the Nigerian government and the private sector in the energy sector. French companies already have a strong presence in Nigeria, with RTE, France’s national electricity transport company, advising on the Northern Corridor initiative, a major infrastructure project financed by AFD to the tune of €200 million. are doing. At the other end of the spectrum, French energy giants such as Engie and his TotalEnergies are very active in Nigeria’s solar mini-grid industry, effectively contributing to the electrification of rural areas and private industrial clusters. .

“Technology is another area with great potential for cooperation between France and Nigeria. We would like to highlight this little-known fact that France is a European powerhouse in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to the OECD, France is the most attractive European country for start-up founders, ahead of the UK.Globally, France ranks third after Canada and the United States. “For four years in a row, Europe is the number one investment destination, especially for research and development centres, and a champion of innovation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lagos-France is collaborating on urban transport innovation through the OMI EKO initiative. The OMI EKO project, supported by the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and an extension of the successful Lagos State-AFD partnership, will establish a large-scale public inland waterway transport system in Lagos, serving 24 million people annually. It aims to facilitate transportation for commuters. This ambitious initiative is set to result in significant cost savings, significant reductions in travel times and significant reductions in CO2 emissions.


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