The efforts of the Edo State government to make the State a tourism and investment hub have begun to yield fruit, with the scheduled visit of a trade mission from the Miami- Dade County, Florida, United States of America.
The trade mission delegations are expected to be in Benin between June 18 to 19.
The American Trade Mission visit to Benin is the brainchild of Hon. Afie Braimoh, the Commissioner for Industry Trade and Co-operatives who successfully convinced the 40-man delegation including four Miami Commissioners to include Benin on their itinerary during the tour of Four African Countries.
The workaholic Commissioner struck the deal with the County officials during her last visit to America where she met with the County’s Director of Protocol & International Affairs for Miami International Airport; Mr Desmond Alufohai, who hails from Sabo-Ora, Owan West Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Alufohai has facilitated several annual trade missions across Africa and other continents for years.
Ahead of the scheduled visit, Hon Afie Braimoh has set up a high-powered planning Committee which includes other Commissioners in Ministries of Tourism, Security; Oil, Gas & Mining; Agriculture with the goal of ensuring that the gains of the trade mission’s one-day visit to the Edo State capital are fully maximized.
The theme of this year’s annual mission to four other African countries is Tourism, Maritime, & Aviation which are in line with the MEGA agenda of the Obaseki administration to make Edo State a tourist destination.
Other areas of possible collaboration on the agenda include Maritime services with opportunities to export Made in Edo products via Miami International Port.
The highlights of the visit will be a courtesy call on the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki.
Earlier, the Manager Strategic Initiatives of Port Miami Gerard Philippeaux, assured the Commissioner that Miami Port is opened for business and ready to receive vessels from Africa.
Responding on behalf of the County, Hon Jean Monestime, Commissioner for Miami Dade, District 2 who is leading this mission thanked Commissioner Braimoh for her visit stating in the history of the County, this was the first time a sitting State Commissioner would pay a working visit to the County and at the same time invite the County to reciprocate the gesture.
In pursuit of the vision of the State Governor to transform Edo State into the preferred investment and tourism destination in the country, Hon Afie Braimoh and her team have stayed focused and consistent in efforts to place Made in Edo Products on the shelves.
Besides, the Commissioner and her ministry have been able to facilitate a series of training workshops for small business owners on branding, with the label, Proudly Edo”, logo, which helps to distinguish Made in Edo products from the crowd.
Other areas of training include financial literacy and packaging, all of which were designed to upscale the capacity of local MSMEs to be able to leverage on prevailing business opportunities.
The Ministry of Industry Trade & Cooperatives under the comradeship of Hon Braimoh is one of the key ministries expected to showcase Governor Godwin Obaseki’s achievements in office at the 6th year anniversary of the administration in November.
She also led the Edo State team which made its debut appearance at the 6th NASSI business trade fair held in Lagos in May 2022.
The trade mission plans to visit the FCT Abuja and Lagos for similar bilateral discussions on trade and tourism before they depart for other African countries by June 22.