Buhari off to African Finance Summit in Paris

By Raphael Oni

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday, May 16, 2021, depart Abuja for Paris, France, on a four-day official visit to attend African Finance Summit which will be focused on reviewing African economy, following shocks from Coronavirus pandemic, and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.

Buhari and other African leaders, several European leaders and heads of international organizations will be attending the Summit hosted by the French president Emmanuel Macron. The summit will focus on the revival of the African economy, and the impact of the pandemic. The aim of the summit, the Elysee says, is to put in place financial resources capable of reviving the economy of the continent, which has seen only 130,000 deaths from Covid according to official figures, but whose GDP should experience its first recession in 25 years in 2021.

In a press statement from the office of Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity revealed that President Buhari will meet with the French President to discuss growing security threats in Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations, economic ties, climate change and partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking spread of Covid-19, with more research and vaccines.

Before returning to Nigeria, President Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community.

The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire. Others on the trip are includes, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

On 18 May 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron will convene the Summit on Financing African Economies, which will gather African institutions and leaders, and their key international partners, including the heads of international and national financial institutions. The objective of this Summit is to plan joint and concrete actions that will help boost a strong and inclusive recovery in Africa.

The event features:

  • European Investment Bank  President, Werner Hoyer
  • President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen
  • African Development Bank President, Akinwumi A. Adesina
  • Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat
  • President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara
  • President of Senegal, Macky Sall
  • President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi
  • President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari
  • President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame
  • President of South Africa and President of the African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa
  • President of Angola, João Lourenço
  • President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta
  • President of Guinea, Alpha Condé
  • President of Republic of the Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso

In addition, several European leaders will take part in the summit, as well as representatives of G7 countries, the G20 and international institutions (the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)). Together, they will explore concrete actions and solutions to boost the African private sector, foster prosperity and accelerate the green and digital transition in line with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

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