Buhari charges Africa, Caribbean, Pacific on tech, trade, investment
•President to drive growth via ICT
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged leaders of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to focus its future on areas of comparative advantage, including trade, investment and technology.
Presenting Nigeria’s position at the ACP Summit of Heads of States which ended yesterday in Papua, New Guinea, Buhari noted that while the group had relatively done well, it was essential that the body does not stretch itself further but rather, focus on areas of comparative advantage”.
A statement from the media office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja yesterday said the President, who was represented at the occasion by his deputy, listed three areas which he described as future pillars for the group to include trade and investment, government development cooperation through technology, political dialogue and advocacy.
Continuing, Buhari noted that, considering the challenges that most countries of the ACP face, development cooperation, including capacity building in trade and investment with science and technology was very important, adding that Nigeria advocates that the group should focus on these particular pillars.
Responding to the report on the future of the ACP presented to the summit by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Buhari noted the suggestions and recommendations, assuring of Nigeria’s continuous support for the group.
Recall that the ACP was formed in 1975 via the Cotonou Agreement and composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, save for Cuba, signatories to the protocol, also known as the ‘ACP-EC Partnership Agreement’ which binds them to the European Union. There are 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.
In a related development, the President has expressed his readiness to deploy Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to take the country to the next level of development.
Speaking at the opening of the 2016 edition of the Digital Africa conference and exhibition yesterday in Abuja, Buhari observed that the deployment of ICT in governance was very vital, adding that sector was capable of contributing 20-30 per cent to the nation’s GDP in the next four years.