As the project is approaching its last months of implementation, the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP) held a learning and exchange event in Kano. This special occasion aimed to create additional awareness on the innovative NICOP’s approaches and results, facilitate interaction between stakeholders, disseminate knowledge and lessons learned, and seek input for future programming.
Over 160 people attended the event in Kano, including representatives from the European Union, Kano state government, farmer groups, leather and garment clusters, agro companies, financial institutions, artisans, leather tanneries, and private sector actors, to name a few.
Mr. Frank Okafor, a representative of the EU, in his goodwill message, stated that the Nigeria Competitiveness Project is part of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme. He noted that the EU has a longstanding relationship with Kano State and urged the government and the organized private sectors to take interest in the work NICOP has done and ensure its sustainability. He thanked Kano state for being a traditional partner and looks forward to continuing work with them.
In his keynote address, the Honorable Commissioner, Barr. Ibrahim, thanked the EU and GIZ for their support and for selecting Kano state as one of the focal states for the project. He advised the beneficiaries to use of the opportunities provided by the project, particularly as there are expert personnel providing technical support. He also reminded the beneficiaries of the importance of commitment, punctuality, and dedication in business, which is part of the secret to success in any business.
The highlight of the event was when NICOP´s major agents of change took the stage: Beneficiaries from the agricultural, leather, and garment value chains shared their experiences, achievements, and the project’s impact on them. NICOP has certainly planted some seeds in this development, but NICOP´s changemakers are in the lead to transform their sectors.
NICOP has been working in Kano state since 2018 and the empowerment and support provided to different farming and artisan clusters will go a long way for many years to come.