By Felicia Imohimi
The Global Shea Alliance (GSA), a non-governmental organisation, has expressed its unwavering commitment to tackling key challenges hindering the shea industry’s growth.
Mamatou Djaffo, President of GSA, delivered this promise during the launch of the highly anticipated 2024 Shea Conference held in Abuja on Thursday, under the theme “Bridging the Gap.”
Djaffo emphasised the GSA’s mission to advocate for sustainability, uphold quality practices, and set standards for shea-based food and cosmetic products.
The conference theme, “Bridging the Gap,” underscores the urgent need to align the industry’s visionary goals with practical actions to address pressing issues.
“Over a decade ago, the GSA initiated structures to empower women in the industry, and we have made significant strides by refining our processes based on feedback from shea beneficiaries,” Djaffo stated.
“The theme reflects our dedication to overcoming challenges, fostering innovation, promoting collaboration, and empowering women across the shea value chain.”
The conference discussions will spotlight crucial topics such as parkland management, resource conservation, and women’s economic empowerment to unlock the full potential within the shea value chain.
Djaffo outlined the event’s objective to bring together key stakeholders, identify barriers to sustainability, and showcase successful initiatives that bridge the gap between industry vision and reality.
Alhaji Mohammed Kontagora, President of the National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN), echoed the conference theme’s resonance with the country’s shea industry goals.
He emphasised the sector’s potential not only as a source of natural products but also as a driver of economic growth, environmental conservation, and income equality.
Identifying barriers such as insufficient investment, untapped market opportunities, weak policy frameworks, insecurity, and social inequalities, Kontagora stressed the need for collaborative efforts to find practical solutions.
He assured the association’s commitment to fostering collaboration, dialogue, and tangible actions for a sustainable future in the Nigerian shea industry.
“Let us seize this moment to pave the way for a future where the Nigerian Shea industry thrives sustainably, leaving a positive impact on our collective prosperity and the environment we cherish,” Kontagora concluded. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Joseph Edeh