BY IKHILI EBALU, BENIN CITY
The efforts of the Edo State government to make the State a tourism and investment hub have begun to yield fruit, with the scheduled visit of a trade mission from the Miami- Dade County, Florida, United States of America.
The trade mission delegations are expected to be in Benin between June 18 to 19, 2023.
The American Trade Mission visit to Benin is said to be the brainchild of Hon. Afie Braimoh, the Commissioner for Industry Trade and Co-operatives who successfully convinced the 40-man delegation including four Miami Commissioners to include Benin on their itinerary during the tour of Four African Countries.
The Commissioner struck the deal with the County officials during her last visit to America where she met with the County’s Director of Protocol & International Affairs for Miami International Airport; Mr Desmond Alufohai, who hails from Sabo-Ora, Owan West Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Alufohai has facilitated several annual trade missions across Africa and other continents for years.
Ahead of the scheduled visit, Hon Afie Braimoh has set up a high-powered planning Committee which includes other Commissioners in Ministries of Tourism, Security; Oil, Gas & Mining; Agriculture with the goal of ensuring that the gains of the trade mission’s one-day visit to the Edo State capital are fully maximized.
The theme of this year’s annual mission to four other African countries is Tourism, Maritime, & Aviation which are in line with the MEGA agenda of the Obaseki administration to make Edo State a tourist destination.
Other areas of possible collaboration on the agenda include Maritime services with opportunities to export Made in Edo products via Miami International Port.
Responding on behalf of the County, Hon Jean Monestime, Commissioner for Miami Dade, District 2 who is leading this mission thanked Commissioner Braimoh for her visit stating in the history of the County, this was the first time a sitting State Commissioner would pay a working visit to the County and at the same time invite the County to reciprocate the gesture.