The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, says Nigeria remains committed to collaborating with China and African countries to ensure that the objectives of the partnership are achieved for the benefit of both parties.
Mr Olusola Abiola, Director, Information, Office of the Vice President, in a statement on Friday, said Shettima stated this at the China-Africa Leaders’ Roundtable Dialogue Meeting on the margins of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Shettima spoke to a large audience at the Sandton Convention Centre, including President Xi Jinping of China, and some African leaders on the theme, “Promoting African Integration and Jointly Building a High-Level Africa-China Community with a Shared Future”.
He said “Nigeria welcomes the new initiatives introduced by the Chinese authorities, which include supporting and promoting the modernization of Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors.
“It also supports the provision of robust support for Africa to expedite regional integration and backing Africa’s industrialization and infrastructure expansion.”
He commended the existing partnership between China and Africa, particularly “the three newly-identified initiatives and priority areas of cooperation between China and Africa in the areas of agriculture, industrialisation, and human capacity development.
“These align with the ‘Renewed Hope’ mantra of the President Bola Tinubu’s Administration, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
“They are relevant to our continental and national development aspirations,” the vice president said.
Shettima, who praised the commitment of China, added that Nigeria firmly endorses China and anticipates forging a close collaboration with the Chinese authorities, the African Union, and all other stakeholders.
“This collective efforts will elevate the Africa-China comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to unprecedented heights, driven by our mutual pursuit of economic prosperity.”
He identified critical areas for the prevailing partnership between Africa and China to include; fostering synergy among the pertinent national institutions tasked with formulating, coordinating, and implementing national policies in the three priority areas of cooperation; and encourage efforts that promote African ownership of these initiatives.
“Other areas include the new undertakings designed in a manner that acknowledges that local percularities are community-based, and tailors to individual country needs.
“Amplify international resources for financing education in Africa; Solicit input from pertinent African Union institutions and continental organizations such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and other related regional bodies.”
Shettima also stressed the importance of financing Africa’s Infrastructure, with a focus on advancing key infrastructural components like Farm-to-Market Corridors, Farm-to-Ports Corridors, Export Transport Corridors, Railway Networks and Road Network Upgrades.
“Also, expansions, Airport Enhancements, including dedicated export-oriented airports, Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, are important.”
On Nigeria’s relationship with the global south, Shettima told his audience that Nigeria prioritises its relations with the Global South and deeply values all aspects of the South-South Cooperation.
The vice president noted that the global South is currently grappling with unparalleled challenges, and we are compelled to devise solutions for climate change and establish security measures to contain and prevent transnational crime, terrorism, and cyberattacks.
“We are confronted with a significant rate of youth unemployment and disruptive natural disasters. This situation provides us with the chance to reassess the challenges we collectively face, as well as those confronting our partners.”
In his address, the President of China and co-chair of the Dialogue, Xi Jinping, assured the African leaders that China would launch initiatives to support Africa’s industrialisation and agricultural modernisation.
Shettima was accompanied to the event by Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Amb. Muhammad Manta, the Consul-General, Amb. Andrew Idi, and other senior government officials.