Arresting man of commerce and Chairman world federations of Consuls, Mr Taiwo Afolabi has an endearing vision.
The repuable boss at Sifax group and honorary Consul – General of the republic of Djibouti provides intimate insights for example social and trade relationship between nigeria and growing republic of Djibouti, as well as plans to form robust multi-lateral economic growth amongst African nations and the world in general
â€ªQue. How did you become honorary consul of Republic of Djibouti?
â€ªAns, The appointment on July 1st 2010 came as a result of what I have been doing in Nigeria. President Ismail Omar Guelleh of the Republic of Djibouti appointed me as the honorary consul of Djibouti in view of what I have done as the Group Executive Vice Chairman of Sifax Group and our achievements in the maritime and aviation indusry .
â€ªQue. What roles do you play as honorary Consul-General?
Ans, â€ªOur duties include giving information to Djibouti citizens and the general public that the consulate has started its full operation in Nigeria.
â€ªWe aim to protect Djibouti citizens residing in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as those visiting in the area of consular matters, trade and investment.
â€ªOur consulate is also open to serve Nigerians and other nationals who may require assistance regarding information on legitimate activities between Nigeria and Djibouti. We also process visa with authorization from Djibouti.
â€ªQue. What is your interest in the Republic of Djibouti?
â€ªAns, Djibouti government allocated land to us in Djibouti to execute projects in Education, Health and Hospitality. As a matter of fact, we intend to engage in shipping and oil exploration. Our plan is to start the execution of these projects by the first quarter of 2015.
â€ªQue. What will Nigeria and Nigerians benefit from Djibouti in view of this relationship?
â€ªAns, Some of the benefits would be the supplying of raw materials they will need to build their economy. This will bring in foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria and expand the international market between both countries. Djibouti is being developed as a hub in the region, just like Dubai is in the Gulf. For instance, there will be benefit of international education which brings I French language as an advantage and cultural integration. The country is still a virgin land, waiting to be explored… It is a place for those who really want to expand their business horizons.
â€ªNigerians would find it a good tourist destination, with various opportunities attached to the hospitality sector.
â€ªQue. Beyond Djibouti what impact are you make in Africa?
â€ªAns, By the virtue of my position as the chairman of World Federations of Consuls. Federation International des Consuls et Associations Consulaires FICAC in Western Africa region with 17 countries under my portfolio, there is a lot to do in promoting diplomacy and multilateral relations not only among member states but in the whole Africa. We are involved in the ideas ensuring that we promote the growth of Africa’s economy. We interact with world leaders, captains of industry who by extension decide the economy of the world. We aim to promote peace, conflict resolution and business development.
â€ªQue. What can Nigeria learn from Djibouti in appointing honorary consuls?
Ans, â€ªDjibouti with a small population has numerous honorary consuls across the world. Honorary consuls advocate the course of socio-economic growth of their countries especially in promoting trade, culture and security. Nigeria can also do more in this aspect, in appointing honorary consuls in countries where we don’t have career diplomats.
Here are links to other interesting reads on rated business mind and his interests.