African leaders advised to harness resources

Zubairu Mohammed, Abuja

African leaders have been called upon to effectively utilize their resources for the economic development in their countries and region.

The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama made the call while receiving the Malian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Muhamane Amadu Maiga in Abuja.

The Minister lamented the trade imbalance existing between African countries and other countries in the world.

He stated that despite the fact that, Africa produces much resources only 10 percent benefits the continent, while 90 percent goes to other part of the world.

Africa produces so much but we only end up at the level of raw materials we are not adding value to what we produce and we are not getting  engaged in the high end of productivity, we produce cocoa for example, but the real money is  made by those who don’t produce cocoa but who produce chocolate brands and are able to make billions of dollars from what we produce, the countries that are making money from tea are not tea producers, the United Kingdom is not producing tea but its making money from tea than the countries that produce tea”. He said

The Minister urged African youths to stay away from engaging in dangerous journey to Europe and other places in the world for search of greener pastures.

The Minster emphasised that, “we have to move out the valued chain if we are to stop our children embarking on hazardous trips across the Sahara trying to gain entry into Europe. I found it so ironical after 200 years of the abolition of slavery, when others coming to Africa and possible taking our young people away against their will to go and work for them, but now our young people are voluntarily trying to make themselves slaves in those countries”.

On his part, the Malian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Muhamane Amadu Maiga called on the leaders of the Economic Community of  West African States, ECOWAS, to implement the decisions made during their deliberations to ease the movement of goods and services within the African region for economic development of the continent .

During the Economic Community of  West African States (ECOWAS) integration, we have the protocol of three movement of persons and goods and even the rate of service men, I think the implementation of the protocol or the agreement there is no problem since the  agreement exist you just have to improve it and should be implemented we should not have trade, customs  barriers between the two countries and other African countries,” the Ambassador said.

The Nigeria’s  Charge‘d Affair  in Mali, Yara  Abdulsalam said an indigenous motor manufacturing company,   known as  Innoson Motors, has signed Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with a Malian firm to export more than 400 locally made vehicles to Mali.

Nigeria and Mali have been enjoying bilateral relations in different areas especially in security, economy and agriculture.

Sammie Idika