Akinwumi Adesina, president of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), has hailed Singapore’s huge investments in Africa amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a panel discussion of the virtual Africa-Singapore Business Forum (ASBF), Adesina noted that the COVID-19 pandemic affected most economies but it did not stop Singapore’s investment in Africa.
He disclosed that the signing of over 30 deals during the pandemic, while 16 others had already been signed before the forum this year, reinforced his belief that Singapore trusts Africa, which he considered as a great thing.
This year’s ASBF which was monitored by BusinessDay in Yenagoa was majorly sponsored by OLAM, PwC, and Standard Bank and also featured Singapore’s senior minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The opening session started on August 23 and was rounded off over the weekend featuring speakers, business leaders across the globe, and panel sessions that addressed problems and opportunities in vital sectors including manufacturing, urban planning, digital technology, innovation, and sustainability.
ASBF is a foremost platform for organisations and business leaders in Africa and Singapore to collaborate and synergize and has stimulated investment, trade relations, and thought leadership between Africa and Asia for over a decade.
An initiative of Enterprise Singapore which was established to support trade and development into Singapore, it has united over 30 countries and also enabled over 2,000 businessmen to venture into new partnerships between the two dynamic regions.
Reports from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that Singapore’s investments in Africa have increased from $17 billion to $20 billion.
Speaking on the forum, Olufemi Hassan, Principal Consultant at Hatytude Consulting and one of the outreach partners for the ASBF 2021 edition described this year’s forum as quite impactful.
Hassan disclosed that Hatytude Consulting has been partnering with Enterprise Singapore for over a decade to drive strategic collaboration amongst businesses within Singapore and Nigeria.
He disclosed that Hatytude Consulting is a financial and management consulting firm established in 2003 to help companies expand through various means of collaboration such as trade partnerships, joint ventures, and franchises among others.
Hatytude with its operational base in Lagos has a strong passion for driving businesses across the globe by leveraging on its network of partners, according to Hassan.
He stated that Hatytude Consulting has been working with the regional director for Enterprise Singapore in West Africa, Mrs. Jean Ng in the last couple of years to sustain stimulation of business engagements between the two regions.
“ASBF is a premier platform for business collaboration and Hatytude Consulting is keen on fostering meaningful trade relationships between both regions. We are committed to facilitating as many collaborative engagements as possible,” he said.
“There are immense opportunities for Nigerian businesses looking to internationalise and we will keep working with the likes of Enterprise Singapore to support the growth of businesses between Nigerian businesses and other parts of the world,” he added.