From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on France to do more in tackling challenges such as terrorism, maritime insecurity, trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons, drugs, cyber insecurity, illicit financial flows, and infrastructural deficit facing the African continent.
The President who commended France for its developmental efforts as well as peace and security on the continent, which, he noted, had yielded fruits in so many ways, added that the country could do more to help Africa overcome its challenges.
Buhari made the appeal at the 27th Africa-France Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergency taking place in Bamako, Mali.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement quoted Buhari as saying, “Notably, France has been playing important roles in the areas of development as well as peace and security on the African continent. While so many gains have been made, challenges such as terrorism, maritime insecurity, trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons, drugs, cyber insecurity, illicit financial flows, and infrastructural deficit continue to militate against Africa’s comprehensive infrastructural and economic development which also hinder its emergence as an important player in global affairs.”
The president called for a strengthening of African defence mechanisms such that the continent would be able to transform decisions arising from the partnership into concrete action plans that will help Africa confront and overcome its challenges.
“In particular, our cooperation should strengthen our defence in the context of African peace and security architecture as well as in the areas of intelligence sharing, capacity building and acquisition of military hardware needed to confront the security challenges of the African continent.”
The Nigerian president also called for intensification of efforts that would stimulate the African economy, address social imbalance and steer its youths away from high risk and unproductive ventures.
“Efforts should also be geared towards the development and emergence of the continent through investments in critical sectors such as Education, Power, Solid Minerals, Agriculture and ICT. This will enable African economies to spur productivity and create employment, thereby addressing some of the socio-economic conditions that contribute to gender inequality, radicalism and youth restiveness, as well as the push factors that make our citizens embark on dangerous illegal migration to Europe in search of ‘greener’ pastures,” he said.
President Buhari who declared that African countries were taking their own destinies in their own hands by mobilizing resources, expressed hope that the partnership would still do more for Africa: “As we continue to mobilize for our own sustainable, predictable and transparent sources of finance that would help the continent pursue its peace, security and development efforts, and address the infrastructural deficit impeding development on the continent, there is the need for this partnership to continue to assist Africa on how to finance its development.”