President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Africans need to focus on the issues of conflict prevention and resolution as conflicts militate against progress in Africa.
President Buhari said this while speaking during the opening session of the ongoing Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa, taking place in the Egyptian town.
The president said the resolution of conflict situations in African countries remains a key component in the overall development of the continent.
“Conflicts have devastating effects on our societies and they militate against our progress. In this regard, the need to silence the guns cannot be overemphasized,” he said in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina.
President Buhari also said that massive investment in transportation infrastructure was necessary for African economic resurgence as this would facilitate the African Free Trade Area Agreement recently signed on by the continental leaders.
“Africa should embark on the provision of transport connectivity by enhancing the development of roads, rail, and air links which will ease the free movement of persons, goods and services within the continent. In this regard, we in Nigeria have already commenced an aggressive drive to upgrade our rail transport system and road networks across the country.
“We should furthermore promote free trade within and amongst Africa and Africans especially now that we have launched the African Free Trade Area Agreement,” he said.
The president also spoke on how to realize Pan-African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.
“We in Nigeria have already taken the strategic decision to bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of our people within the continent by introducing the issuance of visa at the point of entry into Nigeria to all persons holding passports of African countries with effect from January, 2020,” President Buhari said.
He also stated that Africa must take its destiny in its own hands by minimizing reliance on donor funding for the execution of its vital peace, security and development agenda.
According to him, “Nigeria is not only host to our sub regional body ECOWAS but has also been supporting substantially the ECOWAS budget up to about 60 percent.
“Nigeria has been funding by almost a 100 percent the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) fighting Boko Haram Terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin.”
President Buhari also harped on the fight against corruption and inclusive growth. The President once again used the opportunity to draw global attention to the recession of the Lake Chad and its attendant economic consequences for the region.
He urged African leaders to see education as a key tool for the transformation and repositioning of our continent, saying, “Africa would need to heavily invest in education and capacity building.
The President added that his administration was, “pursuing the diversification of our economy through the development of agriculture and mineral resources, the promotion of manufacturing sector and the creation of job opportunities for our teeming youths.
By so doing, we will also discourage the irregular migration of our youth out of the Continent through dangerous journeys.”