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President Tinubu speaks for Africa at the 78th UNGA session

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President Tinubu speaks for Africa at the 78th UNGA session

 

President Bola Tinubu made his debut speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session on Wednesday, addressing key issues. He spoke on Africa’s potential to achieve prosperity through democratic ideals while overcoming foreign exploitation. He also highlighted the importance of prioritizing African development for international investments and the urgency of addressing climate change impacts.

 

Here are five takeaways from the inaugural speech.

 

Africa’s development should be prioritized.

 

The president argued that if this year’s theme is to have any impact at all, global institutions, other nations, and their private sector actors must see African development as a priority, not just for Africa but in their interests as well.

 

According to him, due to longstanding internal and external factors, Nigeria’s and Africa’s economic structures have been skewed to impede development, industrial expansion, job creation, and the equitable distribution of wealth.

 

He expressed willingness to engage in partnerships with those who share a vision of Nigeria and Africa playing more prominent roles in the global community.

 

“The question is not whether Nigeria is open for business. The question is how much of the world is truly open to doing business with Nigeria and Africa in an equal, mutually beneficial manner.,” he noted.

 

Resource justice

 

According to the president, many areas have become catacombs of misery and exploitation. “The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered this for decades, despite the strong UN presence there. The world economy owes the DRC much but gives her very little,” he stated.

 

He pointed out that the mayhem visited in resource-rich areas does not respect national boundaries. Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, CAR, the list grows. The problems also knock on Nigeria’s door.

 

He argued that “Foreign entities abetted by local criminals who aspire to be petty warlords have drafted thousands of people into servitude to illegally mine gold and other resources. Billions of dollars meant to improve the nation now fuel violent enterprises. If left unchecked, they will threaten peace and place national security at grave risk.”

 

He called on member nations to respond by collaborating with African nations to deter their companies and citizens from participating in this 21st-century exploitation of the continent’s resources.

 

Battle against violent extremists

 

The president noted that the entire region is locked in a protracted battle against violent extremists. “In the turmoil, a dark channel of inhumane commerce has formed. Along the route, everything is for sale. Men, women, and children are seen as chattel,”
“Yet, thousands risk the Sahara’s hot sand and the Mediterranean’s cold depths in search of a better life. At the same time, mercenaries and extremists with their lethal weapons and vile ideologies invade our region from the north,” he said.

 

He also emphasized the commitment of African nations to enhancing their economies, ensuring that Africans do not risk their lives to sweep the floors and streets of other nations.

 

“We also shall devote ourselves to disbanding extremist groups on our turf. Yet, to fully corral this threat, the international community must strengthen its commitment to arrest the flow of arms and violent people into West Africa,” he stated.

 

Supremacy of Democracy

 

He emphasized the importance of affirming democratic governance as the best guarantor of the sovereign will and well-being of the people. “Military coups are wrong, as is any tilted civilian political arrangement that perpetuates injustice. The wave crossing parts of Africa does not demonstrate favor towards coups. It is a demand for solutions to perennial problems,” he noted.

 

Over the last three years, seven coup d’états have taken place in West and Central Africa, a region that has tried to shed its reputation as a “coup belt”

 

Regarding Niger, the president said there is an ongoing negotiation with the military leaders. He stated “As Chairman of ECOWAS, I seek to help re-establish democratic governance in a manner that addresses the political and economic challenges confronting that nation, including the violent extremists who seek to foment instability in our region. I extend a hand of friendship to all who genuinely support this mission.”

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

 

On climate change, he said the adverse impacts are severely felt in Nigeria and Africa. While expressing his sorrow for the loss of lives in Nigeria, President Tinubu also extended his condolences for the significant loss of life in Morocco and Libya.The Nigerian people are with you,” he said.

 

African nations will fight climate change but must do so on our own terms. To achieve the needed popular consensus, this campaign must accord with overall economic efforts.
Continental efforts regarding climate change, according to him, will register important victories if established economies were more forthcoming with public and private sector investment for Africa’s preferred initiatives. This would go far in demonstrating that global solidarity is real and working.

 

“We hope to walk the rich African soil and live under the magnificent African sky free of the wrongs of the past and clear of their associated encumbrances. We desire a prosperous, vibrant democratic living space for our people,”

 

“To the rest of the world, I say walk with us as true friends and partners. Africa is not a problem to be avoided nor is it to be pitied. Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future,” he concluded.

 

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