Efforts by the Edo State government to make the state a hub for tourism and investment have begun to bear fruit, with the planned visit of a trade mission from Miami-Dade County, Florida , in the United States of America.
Trade mission delegations are expected to be in Benin from June 18-19.
The US Trade Mission’s visit to Benin was the brainchild of the Hon. Afie Braimoh, the commissioner for industry, commerce and cooperatives who managed to convince the 40-man delegation, including four commissioners from Miami, to include Benin on their itinerary during the tour of four African countries.
The workaholic commissioner sealed the deal with county officials during her last visit to America where she met with the county’s director of protocol and international affairs for Miami International Airport; Mr. Desmond Alufohai from Sabo-Ora, Owan West Local Government Area of the State.
Mr. Alufohai has hosted several annual trade missions across Africa and other continents for years.
Ahead of the planned visit, Hon. Afie Braimoh set up a high level planning committee which includes other Commissioners from the Ministries of Tourism, Security; Oil, Gas and Mining; Agriculture with the aim of ensuring that the gains from the one-day trade mission visit to the capital of Edo State are fully maximized.
The theme of this year’s annual mission to four other African countries is tourism, sea and aviation, which are in line with the Obaseki administration’s MEGA program to make Edo State a tourist destination.
Other possible areas of collaboration on the agenda include maritime services with opportunities to export Made in Edo products through the Miami International Port.
The highlight of the visit will be a courtesy visit to the Governor of the State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
Earlier, the Port of Miami’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Gerard Philippeaux, assured the Commissioner that the Port of Miami is open for business and ready to receive ships from Africa.
Responding on behalf of the county, the Honorable Jean Monestime, Commissioner of Miami Dade, District 2, who is leading this mission, thanked Commissioner Braimoh for her visit stating in county history that this was the first time that a sitting state commissioner would pay a labor visit to the county and at the same time invite the county to return the gesture.
In pursuit of the state governor’s vision of transforming Edo State into the country’s preferred investment and tourism destination, Hon Afie Braimoh and his team have remained focused and consistent in their efforts to place the Made in Edo products on the shelves.
In addition, the commissioner and her ministry were able to conduct a series of training workshops for small business owners on branding with the “Proudly Edo” logo, which helps distinguish Made in Edo products from crowd.
Other areas of training include financial literacy and assembly, all of which have been designed to build the capacity of local MSMEs to take advantage of existing business opportunities.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Cooperatives, under Hon Braimoh’s fellowship, is one of the key ministries set to showcase Governor Godwin Obaseki’s achievements in office during the administration’s 6th anniversary in November.
She also led the Edo State team which debuted at the 6th NASSI Trade Show held in Lagos in May 2022.
The trade mission plans to visit FCT Abuja and Lagos for similar bilateral discussions on trade and tourism before departing for other African countries by June 22.