What World Leaders Are Saying About Nigeria, Other African Countries
The 43rd Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Italy focused its attention on Africa.
They reviewed opportunities and challenges on the continent as well as implications for the international community.
On Saturday, five African leaders – Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Beji Essebsi of Tunisia, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia – joined the world power leaders to discuss the continent’s potential.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his address at the Summit, called on world leaders to invest in technology, education and capacity building of youths in Africa.
Speaking at a session on ‘Reinforcing the Partnership between the G7 and Africa’, the Secretary-General noted that the international community has a role in helping the continent adapt as it heads for a new wave of industrialisation.
“Failing to do so might have dramatic consequences on the well-being of the people of Africa; increase fragility, causing massive displacement and risking boosting unemployment, especially for young people,” Guterres said.
He said at the two-day meeting in Taormina, Italy, that a majority of African countries have improved their competitiveness and business environments.
The UN chief stressed: “Our shared challenge is to build on these gains and to change the narrative about Africa – from crisis-based narrative to an opportunities-based narrative.
“We know that the full and true story of Africa is that of a continent with enormous potential for success.
“Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world, which must be supported with education and training in tomorrow’s jobs.
“High levels of youth unemployment are not only a tragedy for young people themselves, but can also undermine development and generate frustration and alienation.
“That, in turn, can become a threat to global peace and security,” Guterres cautioned in his statements to leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the U.S.