Abuja: My reading of the various articles in the print and electronic media on the outcome of the recently concluded 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from July 15 to 16, 2012, can easily tempt me into focusing on the singular issue of the election of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. However I will not fall into this temptation. The purpose of this article is to give my broad perspectives on Nigeria at the African Union and what the country expects from its membership. I am aware that this confers on the country some privileges and responsibilities.
Lagos: The government of South Africa will be partnering with its Nigerian counterpart on the development of the energy sector which it considers as a major way to boost its economy. According to a news release made available to Journalists in Cape Town on Monday, the South African government said that it was important to trade with Nigeria in this area as a result of the glaring opportunities that abound in the energy sector of the Nigerian economy.
Abuja: The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to the above-captioned write-up by Tunde Rahman published on Page 15 of THISDAY, The Saturday Newspaper of July 28th, 2012. In the publication, Mr. Rahman posits that the outcome of the recently concluded 19th Ordinary Summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was a crushing defeat for our country, though "Nigeria was not really in the race".
Some states in Nigeria are stepping up efforts to reduce their dependence on oil revenue. Mike Odiegwu examines Bayelsa’s latest effort in this direction: Economic and financial experts believe that without diversifying the economy, Nigeria will continue to be plagued by underdevelopment and joblessness. They argue that the country is over-dependent on oil revenue with a permanent tag of mono-economy etched around it. Such economic situations, they observe, account for the increasing number of abjectly poor people in the country.
The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a policy advisory group meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, from 9 to 10 June 2012, on “The Eagle and the Springbok: Strengthening the Nigeria/South Africa Relationship”. The following ten key policy recommendations emerged from the Lagos policy advisory group seminar:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, yesterday said Nigeria was not humiliated by the election of Dlamini Zuma of South Africa as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission. He said the nation's foreign policy is not suffering from abysmal collapse as being claimed by some Nigerians. Ashiru, who made the clarifications in a statement through the ministry's spokesperson, Ogbele Ode, said Nigeria was not a candidate for the Chairperson of AU Commission.
Lagos: The acquisition of 63.35 percent stake in Dangote Flour Plc by Tiger Brands of South Africa signaled the renewed interests of foreign investors in marketable Nigerian brands. Earlier, Tiger Brands had bought 49 per cent stake in UAC Foods in addition to owning 100 per cent equity in Deli Foods, these are some of the deals the South African company has executed in Nigeria in recent times.
Abuja: Since the controversial emergence of the former South African minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the new head of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, had been hard put to rationalize the abysmal collapse of Nigeria's diplomacy in the face of South Africa's dramatic diplomatic renaissance. In one breadth he claimed that Nigeria was never in contest with South Africa for the chair of the AU's commission.
Kano: Although the theme of the 19th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government, which ended on 16 July 2012 was “Boosting Intra-African Trade”, the Summit will be remembered more for the acrimonious election process which produced the Chairperson of the AU Commission, than for the deliberations on the chosen theme. The two candidates who vied for the post of the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr Jean Ping of Gabon and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ended up splitting AU right down the middle in such a way that the healing process is likely to take a long time.
Abuja: The recent emergence of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs and former wife of the country's current President Jacob Zuma, as the third chairperson of the African Union Commission has been generating angry reviews among many Nigerians who feel humiliated that for the umpteenth time the country's candidate for a key position in the continent was trounced. That defeat of Nigeria's official candidate is of course being deconstructed differently by several analysts. Nigeria supported Jean Ping, a mixed race Gabonese (his father was Chinese and mother Gabonese) who was running for re-election. There are several lessons from that election.