September 20, 2023
Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has commended the Entrepreneurship Village Silicon Valley initiative showcased to the world at the Public forum of WTO in Geneva, Switzerland.
She expressed delight and her excitement over the Silicon Valley project currently being built in Nigeria, while commending Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for attracting such an impact focused project to his state.
Describing digital trade as the future, digitally delivered service is the fastest growing segment of trade growing at eight per cent per year, faster than growth in goods trade and even service trade.
“I think we are going to see continuous growth in the sector. It worth about four trillion now out of 31 trillion in total trade that is the worth in shippings and we need to support that because it does help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and women,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
She noted that reaping the opportunities of digital trade requires an adequate ecosystem, starting with good connectivity and encompassing other elements, such as sufficient skills, logistics and payments systems, and an enabling policy framework.
Okonjo-Iweala said climate change has the potential to shift comparative advantages and change the pattern of trade, particularly in sectors like agriculture.
President, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E), Dr. Summy Smart Francis appreciated the WTO leadership and entire team for giving A.Y.E the opportunity to showcase the Entrepreneurship Village project to the world.
Francis stated that the project’s overarching goal is to create an environment where entrepreneurs can learn, grow, and thrive.
According to him, the project aims at producing resilient and successful entrepreneurs who will play a key role in eradicating poverty, creating jobs, driving economic development, and addressing the many challenges facing Africa.
He explained that the entrepreneurship village project is a creative, innovation, technology and business green campus that provides a complete ecosystem for businesses, MSME’s and startups.
“It aims to create an enabling environment for learning, leadership, lifestyle, and legacy. The primary objectives of the entrepreneurship village also aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063. This alignment involves developing human capital, fostering innovation and technology, promoting community development, creating employment, eradicating poverty, and nurturing entrepreneurship. Importantly, it places a special focus on empowering women, persons with disabilities and the fast growing youth,” Francis said.