Buhari departs for AU Summit in Niger Republic

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President Muhammadu Buhari will depart for Niger Republic on Thursday to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area.

This was made known in a statement issued on Wednesday by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, adding that President Buhari will also attend the launching of the French version of the Book entitled ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’.

Shehu noted that the president will also inaugurate the ‘Muhammadu Buhari Boulevard’, named after him by the Government of Niger Republic.

According to him, “The naming of the Boulevard and launch of the French version of the Book, written by John Paden, a Professor of International Studies at George Mason University, northern Virginia, United States, on Thursday precedes the AU Summit on Friday, November 25, 2022.”

“President Buhari is expected to deliver his National Statement at the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, meeting under the theme “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification.”

He further said “The High-Level Summit, being convened as part of the Africa Industrialization Week annual commemorative activities, is expected to adopt a Declaration, highlighting the importance of industrialization and economic transformation in the continent and how to make progress in that regard.”

“The 20th of every November is commemorated as the Africa Industrialization Day, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in July 1989, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.”

The statement revealed that the Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area as well launch additional operation tools.

Shehu noted that Nigeria has continued to demonstrate a high level of commitment toward the full operationalisation of a pan-African free trade area that will create a single market for goods and services, liberalise and facilitate the movement of investment and business people across the continent.

He recalled that “On July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th extraordinary session of the Assembly and launch of the operational phase of the trade deal”, adding that “the country ratified its membership of the AfCFTA on November 11, 2020.”

President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The president is expected to return to the country on Friday, November 25.