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G7 Summit: Osinbajo says Africa is confident of future

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Acting President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo arrives at the Hotel San Domenico on the second day of the G7 summit of Heads of State and of Government, on May 27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. / AFP PHOTO / Miguel MEDINA

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Africa is undeterred by the failures of the past and that the continent is motivated by the incredible energy and talent of its bustling youthful population.

He said this on Saturday in Italy at the G7 Summit and special outreach forum on Africa, which had selected African nations and leaders including Nigeria, Guinea, Tunisia, Niger, Ethiopia and Kenya in attendance.

According to him, Africa is confident of the future because we have learnt; we are investing more in education, insisting on good governance and holding ourselves to account.

“But the greatest reason for our optimism is in the incredible energy, talent and creativity of our young people, male and female, who are completely undeterred by the failures of the past.

“They are daily taking advantage of innovation and technology bringing about the Africa of our dreams,” he said.

The Acting President assured the G7 countries of Africa’s increasing collaboration in trade, counter-terrorism and strengthening of democracy.

Osinbajo also commended the seven most industrialised nations of the world for their support in the fight against Boko Haram terrorism.

He specifically named the US, France and the United Kingdom as effective partners in the Lake Chad basin.

He cited the successes of “our joint intelligent unit which has provided useful and timely intelligence in the war against terrorism.’’

On the progress made so far in the country, Osinbajo explained that there was a massive increase in rice yield over the past two years and distribution of fertiliser subsidies to farmers.

According to him, the farmers also benefited from an e-wallet system which guarantees that the subsidies actually get to them.

He also mentioned the N-Power programme which had started engaging some of the 500,000 young previously unemployed graduates in batches.

He described the scheme which engaged the youth as teachers, agricultural extension workers and public health professionals as “a breakthrough in mass post-tertiary education’’. He said the participants were recruited online in all 36 states and FCT mostly using mobile platforms.

Osinbajo added that participants would soon receive their electronic tablet devices and could access an N-Power portal containing required training materials for the acquisition of more skills to carry out their duties.

Besides the G7 countries’ leaders, other leaders at the summit were the Chairman of the African Union, United Nations, OECD, IMF, AfDB and World Bank.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema, the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, the Nigeria Charge d’ Affairs in Italy, Mrs Bisi Meshioye, accompanied Osinbajo to the summit.

The Acting President also returned to Nigeria on Saturday.



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