Irish government/industry delegation on trade mission in West Africa

Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney | Contributed photo
Ireland Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney began a week-long trade mission for Irish companies on Sunday in West Africa.

“This trade mission provides a key foundation on which to build strong economic links with West Africa, and with Nigeria and Ghana in particular," Coveney said before leaving on Sunday. "The region has a strong demand for imports of quality food, given the size of its population, and Ireland is strategically placed to be a key supplier of quality dairy and meat products, but also high-end services in the field of education, finance, engineering, construction and technology.”

The mission will include stops in Nigeria and Ghana. Along for the mission are representatives from more than 40 companies in Ireland, as well as delegates from the Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Sustainable Food Systems Ireland agencies.

“We are very excited about the opportunity that exists for Irish companies in Africa," Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said. "The continent as a whole is the second fastest-growing economy in the world and is home to eight of the world's fastest-growing economies. This trade mission is about helping Irish companies to optimize on the opportunity that exists, as the continent transitions from the need for assistance, to a continent of opportunity -- the so-called 'aid to trade' journey."

Aidan Cotter, CEO of Bord Bia, agreed.

“Africa represents a growing opportunity for Irish food and drink exporters, with its population set to double to 2.5 billion people over the next three-and-a-half decades," Cotter said. "Ireland’s more-than-a-billion-euro export trade with Africa is dominated by dairy products, and with the sector set for sustained expansion, the region is assuming major importance as a key target region.”

The mission includes a dairy seminar, a meeting with World Food Programme officials in Ghana and tours of aid projects funded by Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - Ireland

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