First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a renowned provider of financial inclusion services, proudly sponsored the Africa International Trade Exhibition (A.I.T.E 2023) held on September 21 and 22, 2023, at the Hilton Hotel Midtown in New York, USA.
Under the theme "The Imperatives of Global Trade for African SMEs as a Game Changer For The Continent’s Future Prosperity," . This event showcased FirstBank's unwavering commitment to being the preferred financial institution and gateway for businesses aiming to foster growth and socio-economic development on the continent, amidst the ever-evolving global business landscape.
Esteemed guests in attendance included distinguished figures such as Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, who represented Senator Bola Tinubu, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development of Nigeria; Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory; His Excellency Adeyinka Asekun, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada; Hon. Abike Dabiri, Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission; Ambassador Bolaji Akintemi, Director of Economic, Trade, and Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria; Mr. Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director of the Bank of Industry; Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade at African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank); Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank Group; Mr. Oluwatosin Adewuyi, Executive Director, Corporate Banking at FirstBank; and Mr. Ini Ebong, Executive Director, Treasury and International Banking at FirstBank.
Tunde MacAlabi, the visionary behind the African International Trade Exhibition project, explained, "The AITE project aims to empower African SMEs to expand their reach into the vast North American market, which holds immense potential. The African American population in the US, comprising 30 million strong, is a consumer force with a spending power of nearly 1.2 trillion dollars.
The global popularity of Afrobeat music, notably in North America, presents an excellent opportunity to introduce authentic African-made products into the market. This initiative strives to diversify foreign exchange income sources, crucial for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Our private sector-driven endeavor is geared towards bridging the commercial gap and boosting commercial engagement between Nigeria, Africa, and the USA."