Buhari Leads 7-man Delegation to AU Summit in Niamey Today

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will today lead a seven-man Nigerian delegation to attend a two-day African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Niamey, Niger Republic.

On the President’s delegation are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Major-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd),  Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd) and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

According to a release yesterday by a presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president, who will depart Abuja today, November 24, 2022, will also attend the launch of French version of the Book entitled: “Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria”, as well as inaugurate the ‘Muhammadu Buhari Boulevard’, named after him by the Government of the Republic of Niger.

The naming of the Boulevard and launch of the French version of the Book, written by John Paden, a Professor of International Studies at George Mason University, northern Virginia, United States,  on today, precedes the AU Summit on Friday, November 25, 2022.

 President Buhari is expected to deliver his national statement at  the African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification, meeting under the theme: “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification.”

The high-level. summit being convened as part of the Africa Industrialisation week annual commemorative activities, is expected to adopt a declaration, highlighting the importance of industrialisation and economic transformation on the continent and how to make progress in that regard.

The Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area as well launch additional operation tools.

Nigeria has continued to demonstrate a high level of commitment towards  the full operationalisation of a pan-African free trade area that will create a single market for goods and services, liberalise and facilitate the movement of investment and business people across the continent.

On July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th extraordinary session of the Assembly and launch of the operational phase of the trade deal.

The country ratified its membership of the AfCFTA on November 11, 2020.

November 20 every year is commemorated as the Africa Industrialisation Day, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity in July 1989, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Buhari is expected back in the country on Friday, November 25.

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