In a momentous speech delivered during the 78th United Nations General Assembly session, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria underscored the imperative for Africa to break free from foreign exploitation and unlock its vast potential while simultaneously upholding democratic values.
President Tinubu made a compelling case for Africa’s development, stating, “Global institutions, other nations, and private sector actors must-see African development as a priority, not just for Africa but also for their interests.” He highlighted the longstanding internal and external factors that have hindered economic progress, industrial growth, job creation, and equitable wealth distribution in Nigeria and Africa.
The president expressed a willingness to form partnerships with those who share a vision of Nigeria and Africa playing more prominent roles in the global community. He emphasized, “The question is not whether Nigeria is open for business. The question is how much of the world is truly open to doing business with Nigeria and Africa in an equal, mutually beneficial manner.”
This significant speech follows a meeting between President Tinubu and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, where they discussed increasing cooperation, particularly in mining and telecommunications. Experts believe that such collaboration, aligned with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, could boost economic growth and development across the continent.
Furthermore, President Tinubu affirmed the importance of democratic governance as the best guarantee of the people’s sovereign will and well-being. He denounced military coups and political arrangements that perpetuate injustice, stating that recent coups in parts of Africa are a call for solutions to chronic problems.
In the past three years, West and Central Africa have experienced seven coup d’états, a region that has been working to shed its reputation as a “coup belt.” President Tinubu also addressed the region’s battle against violent extremists and the inhumane commerce that has emerged in the midst of turmoil. He emphasized the need to dismantle extremist groups and called for the international community to strengthen efforts to halt the flow of arms and violent individuals into West Africa.
Turning his attention to climate change, President Tinubu acknowledged the severe impacts faced by Nigeria and Africa. He expressed condolences for the loss of life in Nigeria, Morocco, and Libya due to climate-related disasters. He assured that African nations are committed to fighting climate change on their own terms and urged established economies to invest in Africa’s preferred initiatives to demonstrate global solidarity.
In a passionate conclusion, President Tinubu expressed his hope for a prosperous and democratic African living space. Calling on the rest of the world to walk with Africa as true friends and partners, stating “Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future.”