Yaounde: Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea costs regional countries an annual 2 billion U. S. dollars, posing an increasing threat in the oil-rich region in West Africa, according to an expert of the Yaounde-II University in Cameroon. "Maritime piracy has already caused reduced visits to the ports in the zone," said Prof. Joseph Vincent Ntuda Ebode. He was speaking on Monday at an international symposium held in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde in the run-up to a Central and West African summit to discuss maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Abuja: Today is the first anniversary of the Dana crash that led to the unnecessary death of so many people, victims of an aviation industry that has been incapable of imposing safety standards in an industry where safety is of such paramount importance. The story of our aviation industry is of course a much larger story of a state that has been incapable of assuring the safety of citizens in general from religious extremists and insurgents, armed robbers, ethnic bigots and resource control militants. The Dana crash, like similar ones before it was a sad one for those of us who are members of the Nigerian elite.
Cape Town: As Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan pays a state visit to South Africa this week, it is worth assessing that country's foreign policy. Nigeria likes to see itself as the "giant of Africa": it has impeccable "struggle credentials", having played a leading role in the liberation of Southern Africa; its peacekeepers helped calm two civil conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s; it was instrumental in building the institutions of the African Union (AU); and it has peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali. Yet Nigeria has become a giant with clay feet, a regional Gulliver tied down by the petty ambitions and often inhumane greed of Lilliputian politicians, who have prevented a country of enormous potential from fulfilling its leadership aspirations in Africa.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, explains the trajectory of Nigeria's foreign policy, given the current difficult domestic circumstances. He says what is uppermost is the interplay of citizens’ welfare and economic determinism on one hand, as well as the balance of power dynamics with national interests on the other hand. He spoke to The Guardian's Foreign Affairs Editor, Oghogho Obayuwana, in Abuja.
Tunis: This Country Strategy Paper (CSP) proposes a strategy for supporting Nigeria’s development efforts over the period 2013-2017 and is anchored on creating a sound policy environment and investing in critical infrastructure. This strategy is aligned with the long-term development agenda of the new administration as outlined in the vision 20:2020 and anchored on the Government’s Transformation Agenda (TA:2011-2015). It is also aligned with the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (2011-2013) - jointly prepared by the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development (DFID); and with the Country Assistance Framework (CAF) currently being developed by the donor community in Nigeria.
Cape Town: The Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) briefed the Committee on the current political situation in Mali. The briefing was undertaken by DIRCO Director General Ambassador Jerry Matjila, assisted by Ambassador Mdu Lembede, Chief Director DIRCO. Ambassador Matjila noted that Mali was one of the biggest countries in West Africa. Mali was landlocked by seven countries and arms were entering the country via Libya. If Libya was stabilised then the entire region would be stabilised. Mali was also not unaffected by the drug trade. Drugs were entering Mali from the south such as from South Africa, Nigeria and Guinea. The drugs were on route to Asia and Europe.
New York: Cocaine trafficking, the smuggling of migrants, and the trafficking of fraudulent pharmaceuticals are among the numerous damaging illegal activities perpetrated by transnational organized crime syndicates which continue to fuel instability across West Africa, a new United Nations report released today has warned. The report, a threat assessment issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and entitled Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa, cautions that the profit from cocaine trafficking alone may still be larger than the national security budgets of several West African countries, causing difficulties for local law enforcement.
Accra: Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has unveiled a major new initiative to help tackle the growing threat from illegal drug trafficking in West Africa. The West Africa Commission on the Impact of Drugs on Governance, Security and Development (WACD) was launched on Thursday at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre in Accra, Ghana. The Commission has been formed in response to the dramatic surge in drug trafficking through West Africa over the past decade.
1. The Extra-Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) took place on 19 January 2013 in Abidjan, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, under the chairmanship of H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of the Authority. 2. The Summit was convened to review the latest political and security developments in Mali, in particular the modalities for the accelerated deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) in the light of the deteriorating security situation in the north of Mali in the aftermath of the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2085 (2012). The Summit also reviewed the latest political and security developments in Guinea Bissau.
Abuja: Prospects for the proposed take-off of a single currency regime by 2015 remained blurred as none of the six member countries of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) including Nigeria, satisfied the required macroeconomic convergence criteria last year. The drive towards the adoption of a single currency regime in the West African sub-region was originally fixed for 2003 but this had been postponed three times largely because of “mixed” progress among member countries in attaining the set criteria.