Abuja: Nigeria's bid for the non-permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council would be formally presented to the African Union (AU) Assembly of heads of state and government this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The continental body’s 21st Ordinary Session is coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity and African Union (AU), which carries a special theme: Pan Africanism and African Renaissance. But even as the country ordinarily looks poised to sit at the elite Security Council chamber, there are hurdles – identified by diplomatic watchers including a university don, Professor Abdulhameed Ujo – which the country must surmount in order to have a successful outing on the continental stage in this regard.
Abuja: It has become necessary for me to address you on the recent spate of terrorist activities and protracted security challenges in some parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and most recently Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states. These unfortunate events have led to needless loss of lives and property of many innocent Nigerians including members of our security forces.
Abuja: The scope of United States military assistance to Nigeria and the U.S. new policy of using regional bloc leadership in solving crisis in Africa may be part of the reasons why the May 2, 2013 policy announced to civil rights activities in Abuja by U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence P. McCulley on withdrawal of military cooperation with Nigeria was shelved. The Guardian investigations revealed that the Nigerian military was spared of the suspension for “alleged mass killings of civilians and destruction of property by security forces in Baga and Bama, Borno State” because such policy for now would be “counter-productive for U.S. security and strategic efforts in the sub-region as Nigeria is the regional leader and a major player in implementing U.S. security interests in the West African sub-region.”
Abuja: Nigeria's short term macroeconomic outlook looks generally strong, with the likelihood of higher growth, lower inflation, and reserve accumulation. This will present the Government with an opportunity to make progress in key reforms and public investments associated with the Transformation Agenda for job creation, diversification, and more effective governance, says the World Bank in its new Nigeria Economic Report (NER) launched in Abuja on Monday. Sounding a cautionary note, however, the NER says that Nigeria's economic growth has not automatically translated into better economic and social welfare for Nigerians.
Lagos: As the continental leaders under the banner of the African Union prepare for their summit in Addis Ababa later this month, there has been no pre summit preoccupation by contact groups, the national units of countries as well as the AU commission itself on what can be likened to be a sensible African response to the shame in Central African Republic. Two months after renegades truncated yet another African democratic government in CAR, that country continues to slide towards possible anarchy in the absence of an African Union intervention. And yet a sensible AU intervention beyond condemnations and imposition of ineffective sanctions is the most potent panacea to the political crisis in that country. Landlocked, CAR - a country of some 4.2 million people itself - is surrounded by unstable countries including Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
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.
Lagos: Three weeks after renegades truncated yet another African democratic government in the Central African Republic, that country continues to slide towards possible anarchy in the absence of an African Union intervention. But it was learnt by The Guardian at the weekend that a sensible AU intervention beyond condemnations and imposition of ineffective sanctions is the most potent panacea to the political crisis in that country.
Abuja: The rebasing of Nigeria's GDP, which is expected to increase the estimated size of Africa's second largest economy by around 40 percent, is likely to be delayed until next year, the head of the statistics bureau said on Monday.The recalculation will enable Nigeria to join the ranks of middle-income countries and put it much closer in size to South Africa, the continent's most developed economy. It will also make it an even bigger draw for foreign investors seeking a slice of Africa's fast growth rates.
Lagos: Africa’s relations with China have been the subject of interest for decades. At a deeply personal level, my own first contact with China was almost romantic. My father was Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Peoples’ Republic of China in the early seventies and lived in Beijing, at the time of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution.
Beijing: The Chinese Government has said that it was not to blame for the de-industrialisation and less developed state of African countries as widely believed, saying that this was a result of western media hype. The Director-General of the Department of African Affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lu Shaye, made this declaration yesterday in Beijing when he granted audience to some African journalists on a visit to the country for the Forum on Chinese Business in Africa.