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AU Honours Niger’s President Issoufou

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Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou, also champion of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), was on Friday named Champion of African Industrialisation, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the industrial development of Africa.

He was honoured during the high-level session held by video conference on the celebration of Africa’s Industrialisation Week, local media reported from the Nigerien capital.

According to the reports, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is member of the Afro-Champions Initiative and co-chair of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, presented the Nigerien Head of State a symbolic plaque in his honour.

The main initiators of this distinction are the African Union Commission, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank).

President Issoufou Mahamadou said he was very honoured by this distinction, especially at a time when he is preparing to hand over the leadership of the Nigerien people to a candidate who will be elected in the next presidential election, of which the first round is scheduled for December 27.

The Nigerien president wanted to dedicate this distinction to the African youth who are impatiently awaiting the benefits, especially in terms of jobs, and of the integration actions implemented on the continent.

“The recorded success proves, if it is needed, is the importance of leadership in development. Continental leadership is crystallised in a vision, that of Agenda 2063, of which the AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects with a view to lifting our continent out of poverty by building a resilient and autonomous Africa,” he underlined.

On the theme of this week of African industrialization, “inclusive and sustainable industrialisation in the era of the AfCFTA”, the Nigerien Head of State explained that to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, it is essential to have a large market space.

On this point, Mr. Mahamadou recalled that Africa is too balkanised with 55 states and nearly 84,000 kms of borders, “so many obstacles which limit exchanges between the citizens of the continent”.

He emphasised the importance of the AfCFTA, saying that through the deal, “we are creating a vast single market of 1.3 billion people where goods and services can be traded freely”.

“The start of exchanges under the AfCFTA, initially scheduled for July 2020, delayed due to COVID 19, is finally scheduled for January 1, 2021. This will be a new strong signal that Africa will send to the world.

“This will confirm its firm will to participate united in a fair multilateral trading system ”, said the Nigerien president, who believes that the acceleration of the second phase of negotiations on investments, competition and intellectual property, will strengthen this will.

President Issoufou also referred to several innovation and sustainability requirements which are part of the technological processes associated with industrialisation, namely mechanisation, mass production, information and communication technologies, automation and digitisation.

He also mentioned the challenge of preparing future generations for the technological demands of tomorrow and being better positioned to ensure the future industrial success of the continent.

The Head of State has also marked other areas on which their quest for inclusive sustainable development must be focused, in particular the transformation of resources into wealth, the mechanisation of the agricultural sector, as well as the promotion of agro-industry, the need for modern transport and logistics infrastructure for the continent; the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) strategy and the related 2017-2021 master plan, as well as special economic zones.

Mr. Mahamadou noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has unprecedented consequences on the economy of Africa, which constitutes one more argument which should lead them to accelerate the implementation of the action plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa.

He called on African countries to aggressively embark on inclusive sustainable industrialisation and on all African Union member states to sign and ratify the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA so that, with the single market created, increased investment essential for job creation and a faster post-COVID-19 recovery will be attracted.

“I reiterate my solemn appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations for the organisation of a special summit on the industrialisation of Africa that Niger will be happy to host in November 2021,” he concluded.

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Rice Farmers’ Murder: Ezekwesili Calls For Nigeria’s President Buhari Medical Report

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Former World Bank President, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Tuesday called for full disclosure on the state of mental and physical health of President Muhammadu Buhari, following the killing of 43 farmers in Borno State.

News Central reports that the farmers were tied and their throats slit by members of the Boko Haram insurgents on November 2 at Koshobe community in Borno State.

Ezekwesili, in a statement by her Publicist and Spokesperson, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, said she’s making the call following the recurrent failure of Buhari’s administration to provide a credible response to the spate of massacres in the country.

She said the frequency with which citizens were killed, without any form of prevention by the security establishment, which the President supervises as Commander-in-Chief, nor any prosecution and judicial consequences against perpetrators of heinous murders, raises questions on whether he was still able to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Ezekwesili said Buhari’s failure to decisively tackle the persistent killing of Nigerians had further emboldened pre-judicial and terrorist activities within the Nigerian territory, thereby necessitating her call.

The former World Bank Vice President said citizens should collectively demand for a credible independent medical panel to investigate and disclose the state of the President’s physical and mental health to Nigerians in order to determine his fitness to continue in office.

“I think that at this stage and depth of fragility of the Nigeria state, privacy has to yield ground to our right-to-know as citizens, the state of health of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The state of affairs in the country is dangerous enough for citizens while the President appears incapable of providing effective leadership necessary to secure, stabilise the country and protect lives.”

“We really must assess the physical or mental capability of the President to carry on the duties of his office,” Ezekwesili said.

According to the 2019 Presidential candidate, the conditions of Nigeria “have become too grave for us all to sit still and watch a train wreck in the making.”

She added, “citizens can collectively push for an independent panel to help us make the critical medical determination of the state of mind and body of our President.

“As an extremely concerned citizen, I hereby demand for a #MedicalPanelOnBuhari since we obviously cannot trust the State House physician to provide us accurate information. It is a reasonable demand now for citizens to have full disclosure on the state of health of Buhari and I hope that more people from all regions of the country will speak up.”

Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate attacks on October 12 and 25, .

The latest beheading of about 43 (110 according to figures from United Nations) farmers/fishermen on November 28 occurred barely 48 hours after the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, raised the alarm that the North had been taken over by bandits who kill and maim at will.

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Namibia Begins Economic Recovery Plan In 2021

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Namibia warns against second wave of covid 19

Namibian President Hage Geingob on Tuesday said his government will present an economic recovery plan by February 2021.

He said the plan is aimed at reviving the Namibian economy that is struggling from the effects of (COVID-19).

Geingob said at the last decision-making cabinet of the year that it was crucial for the country to revive the economy.

“We must revive the economy. We must create jobs for our young people in the critical sectors.

“These include the present-day green and blue economies. We must deliver better services to our people. These are vital undertakings,” he said.

The President pointed out that a safe and peaceful environment is central to the country’s development and survival.

“Our success depends on our ability to work harder and smarter in unison and not in silos. Peace, stability and rule of law are condition sine qua non for development to take place,” he said.

According to the Bank of Namibia, the country’s domestic economy is estimated to contract by 7.8 per cent this year compared to a lesser contraction of 1.1 per cent in 2019

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News In 60 |1 – 12 – 2020

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Catch up with Newscentral’s Sulaiman Aledeh on the major stories from Africa today.

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