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Obasanjo, Osinbajo, Soludo, Elumelu, others brainstorm on how to move Africa forward

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 17/05/2017

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•L-R: Soludo, Obasanjo and Elumelu at AFC’s 10th anniversary event, Tuesday n Abuja.
•L-R: Soludo, Obasanjo and Elumelu at AFC’s 10th anniversary event, Tuesday n Abuja.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and UBA Chairman Tony Elumelu are among dignitaries at the 10th year anniversary of the African Finance Corporation (AFC) holding in Abuja. The focus of their deliberations is how to fashion out ways to develop and improve African economies, particularly in the infrastructure space. 

Speaking on Tuesday at the event as a guest speaker, Obasanjo expressed satisfaction on the celebration, saying that “in Nigeria, we are not short of men and women of ideas and integrity and I appreciate the fact that this is a dream come true.”

The event, held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja with the theme, ‘AFC Live 2017 – Connect. Engage. Innovate – The African Infrastructure Revolution’, marked the corporation’s remarkable first decade since its inception in 2007. The gathering was focused on how everyone can collectively work towards building tomorrow’s Africa today.

Also at the summit were financiers, developers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the infrastructure space in Africa.

Lamenting the current state of things in Nigeria, Obasanjo said: “We have already lost a generation of development and I don’t want us to lose again. So we have to identify those people of ability who are genuinely patriotic about Nigeria. People who are not only nationalists but also Africanists. We need to make use of them.”

Obasanjo added: “We must commend ourselves in things that are right. We do some things right but the problem is, we have not continued to do things right,” citing Universal Basic Education and Primary Health as examples.

Speaking earlier at the event, Acting President Osinbajo stated that Africa is setting the next destination for real development in the world, adding that “it is an exciting time to be an African.”

Osinbajo expressed optimism concerning infrastructure in Africa, saying: “Everyday, we see innovation and creativity in technology and it is happening everywhere in African countries.

“I feel very happy seeing today's anniversary. I feel satisfied because it is a dream dreamt and conceived by Africans, nurtured by Africans too.”

Former Central Bank Governor, Prof. Soludo, speaking on the development, said: “We need peace, stability and leadership for Africa to move forward. This is a dream, some ten years ago, but now what we can reckon with.”

He added: “We are yet to be there because the road ahead is too long. It was a dream to mobilise African capitals leading the way and provide the infrastructure as a missing link and, today, the idea seems to have been working well in creating a new Africa. AFC can be anything if we put our minds to it.”

Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, in his contribution, admitted that “AFC has got a word class leadership and the management is still working hard.”

He identified the need for power infrastructure, saying: “We need power to power Africa out of poverty and AFC is doing well in this aspect. The capital supports given to the corporation are being felt. We give kudos to those who have sustained the vision.”

Elumelu, however, charged AFC to create an advocacy arm to create awareness, get the public sector doing the right things and also engage with political leaders to create the enabling environment.

Earlier, President and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation, Mr. Andrew Alli, challenged African governments to refocus on addressing the impediments to sustainable domestic growth, saying that “the infrastructure challenge that we set out to address in 2007 is therefore also relevant today as it was then.”

Alli, while stating that Africa still has a long way to go, indicated that there was a clear recognition that if Africa did not address her infrastructure deficit, growth would not be optimal and, in some cases, would not be sustainable.


Source News Express

Posted 17/05/2017 2:14:09 PM


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