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NEXIM Launches Cocoa Connect Africa for Flourishing Cocoa Production

In a strategic move to propel cocoa production in Nigeria, the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has introduced Cocoa Connect Africa, a digital hub designed to consolidate and enhance the efficiency of the cocoa industry. Driven by a renewed vision aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s ambition of achieving a $1 trillion economy, this initiative aims to unite stakeholders, creating a seamless platform for collaboration, market information, and trade facilitation.

Cocoa Connect Africa: Fostering Connections and Market Insights

Abubakar Bello, the Managing Director of NEXIM, highlighted the essence of Cocoa Connect Africa during the International Cocoa and Chocolate Forum in Lagos. The digital hub is envisioned to bring together every participant in the cocoa ecosystem, facilitating connections between producers and interested buyers. It serves as a comprehensive platform for market information, fostering a network of collaboration among stakeholders.

Explore the Cocoa Connect Africa platform.

Digital Transformation for Efficient Trade

Bello emphasized the shift towards digital platforms for trade facilitation, stating, “Today everything is done digitally, why should our trade be lagging behind?” The digital hub is not solely profit-oriented but aims to enhance trade facilitation, set standards for traceability, and provide a centralized space for stakeholders to engage, purchase, and educate themselves on the latest developments.

A Cluster Approach: Cocoa, Cashew, and Shea

NEXIM extends its digitalization efforts beyond cocoa, incorporating clusters for cashew and shea industries. The overarching goal is to align with the contemporary digital landscape and ensure that stakeholders across various commodities can engage digitally, revolutionizing traditional trade practices.

Abubakar Bello shared the broader vision of Cocoa Connect Africa, expressing the intent to unlock the boundless potential of cocoa in Africa. Beyond being a platform, it offers an immersive experience tailored to elevate the journey in the cocoa industry.

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Supporting Entrepreneurs in the Cocoa Value Chain

Hon. Stella Okotete, the Executive Director of Business Development at NEXIM Bank, highlighted the bank’s support for cocoa exporters. With over N100 billion provided in the last seven years, NEXIM Bank has not only created jobs but also established facilities like the Small and Medium Exporters Facility (SMEF) to bolster exporters.

In response to the recent surge in cocoa prices, NEXIM Bank opens its refinancing windows to offer single-digit loans, providing exporters with financial support and easing the burden of double-digit interest rates. The bank reaffirms its commitment to doing more to support the thriving cocoa industry.

International Cocoa and Chocolate Forum: A Platform for Progress

Oba Dokun Thomson Gureje, the Oloni of Eti-Oni, Osun State, and Founder of International Cocoa Diplomacy, emphasized the significance of the International Cocoa and Chocolate Forum. It serves as a platform for networking, collaboration, and exploring opportunities in the cocoa and chocolate industry.

The development of Cocoa Connect Africa is a collaborative effort between NEXIM Bank and Sapphital Limited, a prominent digital company in Nigeria. This partnership underscores the commitment to leveraging digital solutions for the advancement of the cocoa industry.

Conclusion: Paving the Way for a Digitized Cocoa Industry

As Cocoa Connect Africa takes center stage, it marks a significant stride towards a digitized and interconnected cocoa industry in Nigeria. NEXIM Bank’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, fostering collaboration, and embracing digital solutions positions the nation to harness the full potential of its cocoa sector. The future of cocoa in Nigeria is not just promising but increasingly connected and technologically advanced.

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