Nigeria’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima has restated the Nigeria’s commitment to collaborate with China and other African countries as this would ensure that the partnership objectives are achieved for the mutual benefit of both parties.
A statement by the Director Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola disclosed that the Vice President stated this when he represented President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the BRICS Summit, in Johannesburg at the China-Africa Leaders’ Roundtable Dialogue Meeting on the margins of the BRICS Summit, Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to VP Shettima, “Nigeria welcomes the new initiatives introduced by the Chinese authorities, which include supporting and promoting the modernization of Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors; providing robust support for Africa to expedite regional integration and backing Africa’s industrialization and infrastructure expansion.”
He spoke to a large audience including President Xi Jinping of China and some African leaders on the theme “Promoting African Integration and Jointly Building a High-Level Africa-China Community with a Shared Future” at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The Vice President commended the existing partnership between China and Africa particularly “The three newly identified initiatives and priority areas of cooperation, between China and Africa in the areas of agriculture, industrialization, and human capacity development.”
He said these align with the “Renewed Hope” mantra of Tinubu Administration, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 adding that “They are relevant to our continental and national development aspirations.”
Vice President Shettima praised further the commitment of China stating that “Nigeria firmly endorses China and anticipates forging a close collaboration with the Chinese authorities, the African Union, and all stakeholders.”
He envisioned that these collective efforts would elevate the Africa-China comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to unprecedented heights, driven by our mutual pursuit of economic prosperity.
While appraising the partnership further, the Vice President identified critical areas for the prevailing partnership between Africa and China to include “Fostering synergy among the pertinent national institutions tasked with formulating, coordinating, and implementing national policies in the three priority areas of cooperation; and encourage efforts that promote African ownership of these initiatives.”
Other areas include “the new undertakings should be designed in a manner that acknowledges local particularities, is community-based, and tailors to individual country needs, “amplify international resources for financing education in Africa; Solicit input from pertinent African Union institutions and continental organizations such as the African Development Bank (ADB), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and other related regional bodies.”
The VP also stressed the importance of “Financing Africa’s Infrastructure, with a focus on advancing key infrastructural components like Farm-to-Market Corridors, Farm-to-Ports Corridors, Export Transport Corridors, Railway Networks, Road Network Upgrades and Expansions, Airport Enhancements, including dedicated export-oriented airports, Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution.”
On Nigeria’s relationship with the Global South, Vice President Shettima told his audience that Nigeria prioritises its relations with the Global South and deeply values all aspects of the South-south cooperation, noting that the Global South is currently grappling with unparalleled challenges.
“We are compelled to devise solutions for climate change and establish security measures to contain and prevent transnational crime, terrorism, and cyberattacks. We are confronted with a significant rate of youth unemployment and disruptive natural disasters.
“This situation provides us with the chance to reassess the challenges we collectively face, as well as those confronting our partners”, he submitted.
In his address, the President of China and co-chair of the Dialogue, Xi Jinping pledged to African leaders who attended the meeting on the sidelines of the Summit that China would launch initiatives to support Africa’s industrialization and agricultural modernization.