Africa prefers Fair Trade to Marshall Plans – Osinbajo



VICE-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Africa is fast becoming the destination of many industries. He said with the rising of African narrative, the continent would soon replace China as the factory of the world.

Speaking at an interactive session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, January 24, Osinbajo said the rising wage costs in China means that Africa would become the obvious choice for some certain industries. According to him, there are quite a few initiatives in that direction already in countries such as Ivory Coast and Nigeria, with the development of Special Economic Zones, with partnerships coming from China.

“I think those sorts of arrangements will very quickly absorb labour because obviously, you are looking at growing populations in Africa, the projections as you know are in the next 20 years or so, we are looking at the youth population… probably 70 percent of Africa’s population would be young people and Africa would probably about be the third largest population.

“I think that the critical thing is to see that we cannot deal with this in any quick way, there are no quick fixes to this, we have got to look at this long term, because clearly there’s no way that African economies will ramp off quickly enough to be able to meet all of the expectations, especially all of the projections around population. So this is going to be a long walk and I think that it is important for all of us to see this as such,” he said.

The Nigerian vice-president said the idea of the Marshall Plan would normally bring some sold solutions to any dynamic problem facing the continent. But he said what Africa needs and what a lot of the southern neighbours of the Europeans need are fairer trade policies and a cocktail of policies that would centre on job creation in the affected locations and more investments.

Osinbajo, who spoke on the topic ‘Stabilising the Mediterranean’ noted that more thinking through those ideas and policies that creates more opportunities, partnership between Europe and Africa would be needed in Africa. “I don’t think that aid has worked through the years. I think that there’s a need for possibly just much more commitment to the whole process.

“I mean there have been multi-processes, several of them, but I certainly think that if we look at this as a major global problem and when you look around and look at extremism, terrorism and all of the various things that are exported along with illegal migration, it is a global problem and we really does deserve a global solution and the way to look at that is by coming together to reason these things through, but frankly it is not by those Marshal Plans off the shelf, I think it is more nuanced than that,” he said.

The vice-president said that he was greatly shocked to see actual slave dealings in this century; saying it was absolutely horrifying to him. He said what world was already witnessing a situation people find that the state no longer has capacity to maintain international human rights norms.

According to him, one of the crucial things is to encourage repatriation. Osinbajo said Nigerian government for example was working with the Libyan government in repatriating everyone who in immigrant detention camps. He stated that it would take time to resolve because some nationalities would want to claim who they are not to exit from the camps.

“There is also a great deal of willingness on the part of those who are in the camps to go back because it is entirely voluntary. There is pressure where there is no state capacity or inadequate state capacity to maintain law and order and international human rights norms. The pressure is a bit too much for the Libyan authorities, so what you find is that the criminal gangs and all of these asymmetric type organizations dominate the space and we may not be able to do much without relieving the Libyan authorities of a lot of the illegal migrants in their custody or their country,” Osinbajo said.


–  Jan. 26, 2018 @ 12:18 GMT


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