Washington: Within the next few days, Nigeria is expected to announce that it is now the largest economy in Africa, surpassing South Africa. One will need to look carefully at the calculations, but the announcement should come as little surprise. Nigeria is a booming market, and contains nearly one-fourth of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa. Its population is four times that of South Africa and its markets are more open to new investment than is South Africa. Why Nigeria feels it necessary to recalibrate its economic data may have more to do with internal domestic politics and less to do with South Africa, its rival for leadership of the African continent.
Abuja: The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) hosted the 2nd Trilateral Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Trade Union Congress, Ghana (TUC-Ghana) from Wednesday 13th Novembers to Friday 15th November 2013, at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja. The Conference with the theme: Working Class Solidarity for Poverty Eradication: The Imperative of Re-Industrialisation and Decent Job in Africa, was attended by official delegations from Nigeria Labour Congress, Congress of South African Congress of Trade Unions, and Trade Union Congress of Ghana. Unions, as well as officials of Embassies and High Commissions of Ghana, South Africa and representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who graced the opening session.
The prickliness between Africa’s two biggest states – Nigeria and South Africa – is often ascribed to the competition for prominence on the continental and global stage. While there have undoubtedly been issues related to mooted positions in the United Nations and African Union, for example, many of the issues that dog this relationship play out at a much lower level – that of the citizenry.
Nigeria and South Africa are committed to working together to build Africa’s industrial base and will play a valuable role in ensuring value is added to the continent’s natural resources. South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies was confident in this assertion made at a business forum in 2013 during the state visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to his southern counterpart.
Abuja: Nigeria's president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday in Abuja said that Nigeria would continue to welcome investors from South Africa and other African countries in keeping with its commitment to the promotion of intra-African trade and economic relations. President Jonathan was speaking when he received Mr. Collins Chabane, a special envoy of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
Abuja: The days when African labour unions take different opinions on labour matters at international fora may end soon. The need to find a platform on which to fashion out strategies to ensure unified voices was the centre of the trilateral meeting between Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC), which kicked-off in Abuja yesterday.
Lagos: Nigeria is seeking to benefit economically from bilateral treaties and agreements signed by the country, with foreign governments. There are no records for sure on how many treaties Nigeria has signed, however a collation process is already underway to determine just that, according to Honorable Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, the chairman House committee on Treaties and bilateral agreements. The committee has identified over 200 treaties but at the end of collation may be looking at well over 400 treaties. The treaties include those that impose financial obligations on the nation, and those that will require domestication according to the treaties act.
New York: Emerging details of what transpired at the just-concluded African Union (AU) extra-ordinary summit at the weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have revealed the role played by President Goodluck Jonathan in averting what some Nigerian diplomats now describe as a Kenyan coup against the International Criminal Court (ICC). While the AU Assembly of Heads of States just managed to agree to requesting the United Nations Security Council to ensure that the ICC defers its cases against sitting African heads of states, diplomatic sources at the meeting revealed that Kenya had wished AU withdraw from ICC or at least threaten to do so. It was learnt that the proposal was tabled both at the ministerial and heads of states levels of the AU summit in Addis Ababa.
South Africa and Nigeria are pivotal states regionally and continentally and therefore their relationship matters to all Africans. The future of the relationship will be determined by the leaders of the respective countries but also by the citizens in their relationships with each other at a personal and business level. Because so much resentment and ignorance still exists, there needs to be much more proactive dialogue and engagement to ensure such issues do not bedevil relations between the countries.
South Africa and Nigeria, Africa’s economic powers in Africa and pivotal states, are tied by historical bonds and by the responsibility of economic as well as political and military weight. But they have mostly failed to rise to the responsibility that their importance to the continent’s development implies. The recent history has been characterised as much by the tensions that lay close to the surface in this uneasy relationship as by the achievements that mutual co-operation has led to.