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Nigeria Tasks ACP Group On Areas Of Comparative Advantage

Posted: Jun 2, 2016 at 6:30 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

 

Innocent Oweh ABUJA

 

Nigeria has urged African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to focus its future around areas of comparative advantage including trade, investment and technology, in order to remain relevant in the global economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who gave this advice when he represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the just concluded ACP Summit of Heads of States which ended on Wednesday in Papua New Guinea, noted that while the ACP Group has done well, each member country should focus more on her area of comparative advantage.

“I would like to emphasise the point that the Federal Government of Nigeria supports the view that the ACP should not stretch itself further but rather, focus on areas of comparative advantage,” declared Osinbajo who also listed three areas which he described as future pillars for the group. The three areas include trade and investment, government development cooperation through technology, political dialogue and advocacy.

Considering the challenges that confront most countries of the ACP, Osinbajo noted that development cooperation, including building capacity in trade and investment with science and technology are very key and that Nigeria advocates that the group should focus on these particular pillars.

In the area of technology, while presenting Nigeria’s statement at the summit, he advised that efforts should be focussed on job creation, adding that young people should be encouraged to go into areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and education.

He said in technology in particular, areas such as computer application, programming, lighting, soft ware applications and so on, should be explored to engage young people in ACP countries “to ensure that our young people” are in the cutting edge of technology.

Responding to the report on the future of the ACP presented to the summit by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the vice president noted the important suggestions and recommendations in the report and assured the summit of Nigeria’s continuing support of the ACP.

Pledging the support of Nigeria, he disclosed that Nigeria would continue its active engagement with the Group. He described the report of the Eminent Persons as excellent because it has set the tone for future negotiations.

Speaking during a press interview at the summit he said the meeting in Papua New Guinea was a crucial one, endeavouring to reposition the ACP towards 2020 and beyond, when the strategic relationship between the ACP and the European Union is expected to move to a new level.

ACP is an organisation of developing countries formed in 1975 with the Cotonou Agreement, and composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, save Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the ‘ACP-EC Partnership Agreement’ which binds them to the European Union. There are 48 countries from sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific, in the ACP.

According to the vice president, since the creation of the ACP, there had been so many changes and dynamics, necessitating the need to restrategise.

Regarding the expiration of the agreement in 2020, Osinbajo stated that the countries seem to have made up their minds to continue to work together beyond 2020, noting that the most important thing is how the ACP would engage with the European Union, because the organisations are vastly different from what they were in 1975.

Osinbajo said the new ACP-EU dynamics would definitely be different, adding that this is the essence of the proactive steps that are being taken now, making it hopeful that the future is bright.

 

 

 

Comments (1)

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