COVID-19: AU urges African leaders to partner, liberate continent

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The African Union (AU) Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) on Thursday underscored the need for African leaders to work closely together to ensure economic growth of the continent.

ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the African Union designed to give civil society organisations a voice within AU institutions and decision-making processes.

Dr Tunji Asaolu, 1st-Nigerian Representative of the 3rd Permanent General Assembly of AU-ECOSOCC, said this in his address at the inauguration of Africa Economic Re-engineering Strategy Business Integration and Investment in Abuja.

The event had the theme: “Re-engineering the Africa Economic Strategy for an effective Post-COVID-19 improved trade, investment climate and industralistaion come back.

Asaolu said: “This event is strategic in the sense that it is timely and there cannot be a better time than this.

“All of us are coming together to see if we can find a way to be alert of what COVID-19 brought to us.

“For us in African Union we are not left behind, we are working tirelessly to see how we can help recover economies; especially at this time that COVID-19 has thrown us off-balance.

“We cannot talk about developing Africa without robust economic strategic Agenda 2063, which is a 50 years framework that will take Africa from looking-up to Western nations before taking decision in Africa.

“Therefore need for our leaders in Africa to come together and to build economies of our continent.”

He said that the AU had put measures in place to ensure a continent where there is free protocol, common market, single currency, right of business and occupancy without discrimination.

Speaking at the event, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, stressed the need for all countries to offer social, economic and financial stimulus packages to alleviate effect of the pandemic.

Aliyu, represented by Mrs Chiwendu Amba, Special Assistant to the Minister on Social Investment Programme, spoke on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on Local Small Businesses in the FCT.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the FCT has taken proactive measures to curtail its spread and cushion the impact of the sit-at-home presidential directives by the Presidential Task Force.

“Besides embarking on a door-to-door community case search, the administration has intensified its sensitisation programmes, leveraging on all the media platforms to convey messages to rural people in different languages.

“The sensitisation was anchored on our firm conviction that government approach should not be a top-bottom, instead a bottom-top to get buy-in of all stakeholders government programmes are meant for.

“It is by so doing that community ownership can evolve, which will ultimately lead to a better result,” Aliyu said.

In an overview, Mr Moses Owharo, Chairman of the event planning committee, said that the event marked the beginning of economic development across Africa and the intertional community.

“The launch of the Africa Infrastructure, Energy, Mining and Investment Summit (AMIETIS) 2021 in Nigeria; Nigeria-Lithuania trade forum and Canada International Trade Fair and exhibition, are various trade investment promotion platforms.

“This is to complement and support Africa governments’ development, especially Nigeria our great country, which host the third exhibition of the summit,” Owharo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports high point of the event was the unveiling of the programme logo, conferment of leadership award of excellence to the Minister and virtual panel discussion. (NAN)

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