Zainab Ahmed: FG to promote the digital economy, inclusive development

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Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said the federal government will promote industrial digital economy, inclusive and economic development.

Ahmed announced it at the West Africa Business Forum, on the topic; “Empowering Women and Youth to Boost Africa’s Transformation Agenda” in Lagos, Tuesday.

She noted that inclusive economic development is a central element of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

“In Nigeria, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for up to 90% of the manufacturing sector and 80% of trade,” Ahmed said.

“Our national strategy includes an MSME aggregation program to promote specialization and increase productivity, as well as a connection of MSMEs to e-commerce platforms and other emerging technologies.

“By leveraging these digital technologies, Nigeria hopes to create alternative pathways to markets for MSMEs, in Nigeria and beyond, and support production clusters in manufacturing and agriculture.

“It is therefore opportune to promote an industrial digital economy, sustainable and inclusive economic development.

Ahmed also said the federal government would take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to improve the export capacities of formal and informal service providers.

“We hope that the forum will be an effective way to empower women and young entrepreneurs and address the challenges of unemployment that we have in the African region.

“AfCFTA offers the continent’s youth and women greater opportunities to play a role in regional value chain development,” she added.

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