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Africans can’t enjoy democracy with poverty

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By Usman Oladimeji

Democracy without food is a breeding ground for what will consume us.

The President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, has stated that the International Development Financing (IDF) initiatives must prioritize Africans’ needs, saying that democracy on the continent cannot be enjoyed so long as poverty and hunger plague its people. He said all Africa must share the perspective that the billions of dollars invested through IDF institutions over the years must be used to address the peculiar challenges of Africa’s developing democracies, even by prioritizing the interests. Tinubu told South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in a meeting before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, that the two countries need to work together with a common understanding that International Financial Institutions require reform if Africa was to stop being a ground for economic scavenging.

This was revealed on Monday by Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement titled “President Tinubu advances stronger economic ties with South Africa: seeks reform of Bretton Wood institutions to strengthen the economic resilience of developing democracies.” The president of Nigeria made it clear that starvation and ignorance are incompatible with a thriving democracy. “Democracy without food on the table is a breeding ground for what will consume us, if care is not taken,” he added.

It is crucial for the countries to strengthen economic relations.

He said that the two countries have both the human and natural resources necessary to function and Africa must now become a location with gifted people who are ready for investment and collaboration. Therefore, we can work together for the betterment of both countries’ populace. With the success of South African companies in Nigerian telecommunications, the country has a vital contribution to make in the Nigerian solid minerals sector development. “We have great mineral wealth across our land, and you have good expertise in this area. We expect to deliver jobs and mutually beneficial results in this area as brother and sister countries,” the President affirmed.

In his response, The South African president praised President Tinubu’s “brave” economic changes and acknowledged that the two countries could produce even more wealth by working closely together and capitalizing on each other’s capabilities. Considering the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, it is crucial that we strengthen our economic relations as the two largest economies on the African continent. “We are very keen on the deepening of our economic relations”, Ramaphosa stated.

With both countries’ cooperation the continent is at its strongest.

He stressed the historical evidence that shows how powerfully Nigeria and South Africa can influence the globe on issues of mutual concern when they are on the same wavelength. “We hope to see Nigeria and South Africa cooperate closely on a variety of problems since our combined efforts have had a significant influence on the global scene. “Together, we can move the global south forward. We are a continent that has been pillaged, from which powerful countries have extracted enormous wealth. Thus we must seek out partners who will help us to advance our own interests,” the South African President noted.

President Ramaphosa suggested that Southern Africa should take an example out of West African solidarity after the Niger Crisis, specifically mentioning President Tinubu’s leadership as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State. After his recent trip to Nigeria, he extended an invitation to Tinubu to visit South Africa as part of efforts to strengthen commercial connections and the overall relationship between the two countries. As he accepted the invitation, Tinubu stated that the continent is at its strongest when countries like Nigeria and South Africa cooperate for mutual interests.

Our continent is the last untapped ground for massive growth.

Furthermore, he said this can have a greater impact on international affairs, to the benefit of Africa’s over a billion people and its vast reserve of natural and human resources. “Our continent is the last untapped ground for accelerated, massive growth and new economic opportunity on earth. “We need to take ownership of our own resources and learn to leverage one another for the greater good. The Nigerian leader concluded by saying, “We look forward to an era of economically productive relationships.”

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