President Bola Tinubu on Monday held bilateral talks with South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, in New York City, as he sought stronger economic ties ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.
This was disclosed via a statement from Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media & Publicity.
Bretton Woods Institutions Reforms
President Tinubu emphasized the need for Africa to utilize the billions of dollars spent through International Development Finance Institutions like IMF and World Bank (a.k.a Bretton Woods Institutions) over the years to meet the specific needs of developing democracies within the continent. He said:
- “During the end of the Second World War, the Marshall Plan was established for the reconstruction and economic restoration of European nations through Bretton Woods institutions.
- Where has this presence been in Africa? We have to be careful not to replace the broken shackle of yesterday with a new set of shackles. You cannot have a stable democracy in the presence of a poverty of knowledge and a starvation of people.
- Democracy without food on the table is a breeding ground for what will consume us if care is not taken. We must join hands and agree that International Finance Institutions require reform as Africa is not to be a ground for economic scavenging any longer, but it is a place with gifted people that is ready for investment and cooperation.
- 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.
- 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.”
Strengthening Economic Ties
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa agreed that the two countries have much more wealth to create together in close and intentional partnership, with each nation leveraging on each other’s respective strengths. He noted:
- “We are two major economies on our continent, and we must deepen economic ties, particularly in light of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. We are very keen on the deepening of our economic relations.
- We would love to see Nigeria and South Africa working closely together on several issues because whenever we join hands, we have made an impact globally through those joint positions. Together, we can move the global south forward.
- We are a continent that has been plundered. And wealthy nations made so much of it from us, and we must seek out partners who will help us to advance our interests.”
Ramaphosa also used the opportunity of the bilateral engagement to extend an invitation to Tinubu to visit South Africa, following President Ramaphosa’s recent visit to Nigeria, as part of efforts to deepen economic ties and the broader relationship between both countries.
What You Should Know
President Tinubu is currently in New York to participate in the 78th UN General Assembly, which will run from September 19 to September 23.
He is expected to hold discussions with US President Joe Biden as well as other world and business leaders.