UNGA: Tinubu, Ramaphosa meet on Nigeria-South Africa economic, regional cooperation
Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss stronger economic and regional ties.
According to a statement issued Monday by presidential media aide Ajuri Ngelale, Mr Tinubu engaged in extensive bilateral discussion with Mr Ramaphosa to further his economic development diplomacy.
Mr Tinubu said Africa must have a consensus on billions of dollars spent through international development finance institutions over the years. He said the funds must meet the specific needs of developing democracies in Africa, even if it is done with exclusive regard for their enlightened self-interest.
“We have all the human and natural resources required between our nations. We can collaborate in a mutually beneficial way that enriches our populations. South African Mining industries have a role to play in the Nigerian solid minerals development sector,” Mr Tinubu told the South African president.
The Nigerian president added, “Your business community has done well in Nigerian telecommunications. We have great mineral wealth across our land, and you have good expertise in this area. We expect to deliver jobs and mutually beneficial results in this area as brother and sister countries.”
Mr Ramaphosa agreed that Nigeria and South Africa have more wealth to create together in close and intentional partnership, with each nation leveraging the other’s strengths.
“We are two major economies on our continent, and it is important that we deepen economic ties, particularly in light of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. We are very keen on the deepening of our economic relations,” the South African president explained.
According to him, history has proved that Nigeria and South Africa can move the world on matters of mutual concern when the two nations cooperate.
“We would love to see Nigeria and South Africa working closely together on a number of issues because whenever we join hands, we have made an impact globally through those joint positions. Together, we can move the global south forward,” Mr Ramaphosa explained. “We are a continent that has been plundered.”
He added, “And wealthy nations made so much of it from us, and we must seek out partners who will help us to advance our own interests.”
On Mr Tinubu’s chairmanship of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, Mr Ramaphosa said Southern Africa needed to emulate the solidarity demonstrated in West Africa following the Niger crisis.
“We believe that we have a lot to learn from ECOWAS and its unity in reaching consensus positions on sub-regional matters. This is something we seek to emulate in the Southern African sub-region in view of events in Mozambique and other areas,” said Mr Ramaphosa.
The South African leader also used the opportunity of the bilateral engagement to extend an invitation to Mr Tinubu to visit South Africa as part of efforts to deepen economic ties and the broader relationship between both countries.
While accepting the invitation, Mr Tinubu affirmed that an Africa, in which Nigeria and South Africa work in synergy to advance their common interests, is the strongest version of the continent.
He said this would make more impact on global affairs for the benefit of over one billion Africans with its enormous human and natural resource wealth.
Mr Tinubu stated, “Our continent is the last untapped ground for accelerated, massive growth and new economic opportunity on earth. We must be in charge of our own resources, and we must work to use each other effectively to achieve what is best for all of us, Mr President. We look forward to an era of economically productive relationship.”
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