With AfCFTA, Obaseki Canvasses Stronger South-South Cooperation

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Godwin Obaseki

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki yesterday called for stronger ties among countries in the global south with the ratification of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Obaseki argued that promoting mutual ties with countries in the global south “is imperative because it will ensure that the countries share models and development planning strategies that would benefit the AfCFTA.”

The governor canvassed the position at a public forum organised by the United Nations and its specialised agencies to commemorate the 2019 International Day for South-South Cooperation

At the commemoration, Obaseki stressed the need for countries in the global south “to band together and work for the uplift of their people and revamp of their economies through knowledge-sharing, innovation and mutually beneficial trade agreements.

“As we mark the International Day for South-South Cooperation, what comes into focus is the need to expedite work on the AfCFTA so there would be a robust engagement among countries in Africa and their counterparts in the global south.

“There is no denying that the development indices in Africa is disturbing and we have a number of models to copy from our brothers in Asia and South America.”

He urged policymakers, development economists and other stakeholders working to integrate the global south to work towards ensuring that no one is left behind in the march to making the world more equitable and create opportunities for more persons to live rewarding, fulfilling lives regardless of their station in the world map.

He said: “The world has undergone a major economic and political transformation in the last two decades. The changes, particularly in the South, have been more rapid than at any time during a similar span in world history.

“Relationships within the South and between the South and the North have taken on entirely new dimensions. Key current issues such as the environment and climate change, energy and food security, global poverty, the linkage between growth and equity, and migration are today more global than North-South in nature.

“Many countries in the South have built up significant financial and technical capacities. They have begun to transfer some of these resources, on concessional and non-concessional terms, to other countries in the South in the context of an inclusive approach to the management of global problems, spreading the benefits of globalisation more widely, creating new markets, and building a broader foundation for sustainable economic growth.”