Linking regional trade and the development of SME's

IBD Annual Conference 2019
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About our 2019 Conference

This conference was of high strategic importance as it came at a time when African trade agreement and sub-regional economic integration were being discussed at the National level. This conference had the following objectives:
  • 1

    Identify and resolve inhibitors

    To identify and resolve the inhibitors to sustainable SME development and regional trading with the view of linking regional trade integration and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s)

  • 2

    Discuss policy framework

    To discuss and agree on the needed policy frameworks, legal regimes, trade agreements, the role and engagement of relevant stakeholders in building a common market in the West African region.

  • 3

    Discuss challenges & opportunities

    To provide a platform for discussion on the current position of SMEs, their activities, mode of operation, key challenges encountered, opportunities identified and the way forward.

Conference structure

The conference had two main components:
I. Identifying and understanding of the role of stakeholders in creating an enabling environment for SMEs.

II. Practical positioning and action plan towards the development of SMEs for regional trade integration.

Conference set-up

The two-day IBD annual conference consisted of an opening session, plenary sessions and discussion group sessions.

Furthermore, there was a session for all the participants to share their experiences, challenges and achievements towards regional trade integration and development of SMEs.

Conference schedule

This schedule was as follows:
8:00 - 9:30 am

9:00 – 10:00 am

The Institute

Introduction of Participants

National Anthem

Welcome Address

Goodwill Messages

Opening Address

Presentation of an overview on the business environment in Nigeria, regional trade and economic integration.

Overview of The IBD

Presentation of conference objectives, expected outcome and agenda

Selection and presentation of rapporteurs and establishment of the Communique drafting Group

10:00 – 10:30 am

TOPIC: Linking Regional Trade Integration with the development of SMEs

10:30 – 11:00 am

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Topic: Financial Resiliency: The Steps to Financial Recovery

11:00 – 11:30 am

TOPIC: Understanding the dynamics, politics and demands of globalization and its effects on the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

12:00 – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 1:30 pm

9:15 – 9:30 am

Topic: Developing appropriate trade and investment policies for SMEs in a regional market.

9:30 – 10:00 am

10:00 – 10:30 am

Topic: Barriers for developing SME synergies in the regional market

10:30 – 11:30 am

Topic: A Guide to Take the Weirdness Out of Retirement

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Conference Speakers

Highly qualified & competent personalities that spoke at the conference.
International Business & Project Development Consultant at Ant Hill Concepts Limited.

Dr. Emeka Okengwu


Yima Sen, Visiting Professor, Ecole Superieure Universitaire, Cotonou, Benin Republic, also teaches at Baze University, Abuja Nigeria.

Dr. Yima Sen


Prof Ken Ife, London Enterprise Ambassador & Chief Economic Strategist in ECOWAS Commission.

Prof Ken Ife


Conference Sponsors

The following organizations were sponsors of the 2019 Annual IBD Conference.

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