President Goodluck Jonathan wants African leaders to go beyond open declarations of intentions to improve trade and economic relations in the continent
| By Vincent Nzemeke | Aug. 12, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
AFRICAN leaders have been advised to take concrete steps that will help them fulfil their commitments to improving trade and economic relations in the continent.
The advice was given by President Goodluck Jonathan at the state house on Monday July 29 2013 during an audience with Selma Ashipala-Musavyi the outgoing Namibian high commissioner to Nigeria.
Jonathan told the gathering that beyond making declarations of support for greater intra-African trade, there was an urgent need for African leaders to join forces in order to overcome obstacles which currently hinder economic relations between nations and people of the continent. He added that challenges to intra-African trade such as poor transportation links could be easily overcome with the right political will and commitment from African leaders which would also lead to a significant boost in continental economic interaction for the benefit of their countries and peoples.
Pledging that Nigeria will continue to spearhead and support efforts aimed at promoting regional and continental economic integration, Jonathan emphasized that the existing cordial political relations between most African countries would be further enhanced by greater trade and economic relations amongst them.
Reviewing Ashipala-Musavyi tenure as a high commissioner in Abuja, the President extolled her for working diligently to boost bilateral decisions between Nigeria and Namibia. He wished her success at her new post in the Namibian ministry of foreign affairs.
In the same spirit, Jonathan also commended Baba Kamara, Ghana’s outgoing high commissioners to Nigeria who he also received at the Presidential Villa on the same day. Noting that bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana have been further strengthened in several areas during Kamara’s four-year tenure, the President expressed the hope that the outgoing High Commissioner’s successor would continue his good work.
In his response Kamara assured that the cordial relationship between Nigeria and Ghana must be sustained. “We must continue to build and strengthen the cordial relations between us. We are the same people and colonial boundaries must not be allowed to keep us apart”.
According to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, of the over 200 projects registered by it last year, Nigeria had 42 projects with a value of almost $200 million U.S. Dollars. Only China accounted for more registered projects in Ghana during the period with 56 projects.