Jonathan Tasks African Leaders on Economic Reliance

President Goodluck Jonathan has urged African leaders to intensify efforts towards total development and utilization of their countries’ comparative economic potentials over other parts of the world for the benefit of their people.

He stated this on Thursday while speaking with Botswana’s new Ambassador to Nigeria, Louis Matshewenyego Fisher, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jonathan, in a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity, Reuben Abati, urged African countries to develop and execute policies that will maximize their economic potentials and make them less dependent on the industrialized nations of the world.

He cautioned African leaders to focus more on building domestic capacity around the strengths of their economies, instead of wasting their efforts on areas in which they lack a competitive edge.

The President pointed out that the growing youth population in Africa was an advantage for the continent, adding that Africa’s largely youthful population gives the continent a competitive edge over other parts of the world by providing a vast labour pool for investors and a huge market for
products and services.

With reference to the inter-connectivity of the world economy, Jonathan said that globalization will work better if African countries fully utilize their resources to enhance their ability to compete effectively with other regions of the world.

He posited that competitiveness could be further boosted through increased regional trade and horizontal investment partnerships.

    “I want to insist that our diplomacy should be based more on trade and economic relations. We
    must encourage trade between our people and I see that relationship as the bedrock for diplomacy,” Jonathan added.

    He congratulated all the new ambassadors on their posting to Nigeria and wished them success in their efforts to boost bilateral relations between Nigeria and their countries.

    Responding, the ambassadors assured the President to be diligent and enhance existing trade, economic and cultural cooperation between Nigeria and their countries.

    The President also received letters of credence from some new ambassadors to Nigeria including ambassador from Czech Republic – Pavel Mikes, Republic of Kuwait – Abdulla Ahmed Al-Sharrah and the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Perry Calderwood at the State House.

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