The French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Mrs Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, accompanied by Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria,H.E. Samuela Isopi, visited Ilorin on May 30, to mark the growing cooperation of France with Kwara State in agriculture and culture,
According to the statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, Zacharopoulou is in Nigeria for the inauguration ceremony of President Tinubu and the partnership with Kwara State, among other things.
This French official visit is the first one by a foreign Minister in Kwara State where she congratulated H.E. Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his reelection and his nomination as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
The visit witnessed the signing of two significant agreements; an MOU between Kwara State and the French company BRLI tasked with conducting a EUR 500,000 feasibility study granted by the French authorities on the modernisation of the livestock value chain in the Lata grazing reserve.
The second MoU is on formalising the relocation of the Alliance Française Ilorin within the Innovation Hub. The generous offer of the Governor of Kwara of a space of 120 m² will enable the cultural and linguistic centre to attract its public in modern classrooms and facilities.
The Embassy of France and the French Ministry of Foreign affairs will also contribute to the relocation of the Alliance through an exceptional grant of €10,000, which complements the annual operating grant. This partnership demonstrates the shared vision of giving younger generations’ access to quality education and skills that will enable them to thrive.
The French official has visited the Ilorin Innovation Hub and the Ilorin Visual Arts Centre, both aiming to transform Kwara into an economically viable and self-sustainable state via digital literacy, technology and culture. Discussions with young entrepreneurs and artists have reaffirmed the need to foster partnership between our two countries.
Later, the French Minister of State visited the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), chosen by the French authorities as a pilot training center to implement a EUR 600,000 grant programme dedicated to the development of technical education of women in agriculture. The Minister of State toured an exhibition of local agricultural products presented by women entrepreneurs.
Zacharopoulou said the projects illustrate the potential of the cooperation of France in Nigeria in the agriculture and agribusiness sector and would contribute to women’s continuous capacity development, to serve their needs, expectations and dreams.
Ngozi Egenuka | The Guardian