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Macron promises to boost Nigeria-France relationship


French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he delivers a speech to entrepreneurs at a convention centre in Lagos on July 4, 2018.<br />AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ludovic MARIN

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to scale up the relationship between France and Nigeria.

He said this during the official unveiling of Alliance Francaise, a French Cultural Centre in Lagos on Wednesday.

The French president who was once a diplomat in Nigeria visited the Afrobeat  Afrika Shrine yesterday and was also present at the official unveiling of Alliance Francaise, a French Cultural Centre in Lagos.

He emphasised the need for Africa and Europe, especially France to build a new commonality, stating that


“this new commonality is not based on what is important for Europeans but what is important for Africa, their culture, how they build their culture and promote the culture and which places are important for them about their culture”.

“ Being here, I do recognize their culture and respect their views. This place is important for Africa and their culture and that is why I am here.”

Macron said the development of French cultural centre was part of the measures to build the relationship between France and Nigeria, while also specifically offering the commitment of the government and people of France to development of infrastructural projects in Lagos

“Lagos is one of the main challenges of not just Nigeria but the whole of Africa. I mean this huge city, there is tremendous challenge about how to make people living together in peace, in a better place and I want France to be part of this story and I do want my country and my people being part of this experience.”

“It means belonging same values, sharing cultures, languages, literatures, music, movies, building together projects, having common economic projects and so on, and this ecosystem will be not just possible but stronger staying in this place,” Macron said

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode while welcoming President Macron to the State, expressed optimism that the historic visit will go a long way to break any barriers between Nigeria and France as well as foster greater collaboration for economic, social and cultural growth.

“Mr. President, this momentous State visit shall signal the dawn of a new era between France and Nigeria especially for the myriad of talents that have made Lagos their home,” Ambode said.

Ambode also added that Macron’s emergence as the President of France has inspired many youths in Nigeria, who constitute 60 percent of the country’s population, adding that Lagos was providing avenues for youths to explore their creativity and talents.

Macron emerged the youngest French president at the age of 39 and the youngest leader in the current Group of Seven (G7)  major nations.

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