President Bola Tinubu has reiterated Africa’s unity and strength while strongly opposing any new scramble for the continent. He warned against the repetition of past exploitation and plundering of Africa’s resources. Tinubu made these remarks at the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (5th MYCM) of the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Regional Mechanisms (RMs), and the African Union Member-States in Nairobi, Kenya.
As the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Tinubu highlighted the progress made by the body in various sectors of integration, such as trade, free movement of persons, investment promotion, infrastructure development, and security. He emphasized that visionary good governance is crucial to overcome the challenges facing the continent and called for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to achieve a vibrant economy.
Tinubu acknowledged the need to address the instability and conflicts that plague many African nations, as they hinder economic integration. He stressed that Africa cannot achieve full integration while some countries suffer from violence and war, which hinder trade and commerce. Tinubu announced plans to strengthen the ECOWAS Standby Force to deter coups and combat terrorism in the sub-region.
Regarding regional integration efforts, Tinubu mentioned that ECOWAS has achieved the AfCFTA and is working on establishing the Customs Union and Common Market. He also highlighted initiatives in free movement of persons, regional infrastructure development, and energy sector interconnection. However, Tinubu expressed concern about the low level of intra-community trade and the challenges of peace, security, and stability in the region, including terrorism and anti-constitutional changes in government.
Tinubu emphasized the importance of good governance to ensure a prosperous future for Africa, free from past exploitations. He called for unity and progress, urging African nations to work together for peace and prosperity. Tinubu also highlighted the efforts of ECOWAS to address the twin challenges of terrorism and undemocratic changes in government and emphasized the need to monitor transition programs in various countries.
Overall, Tinubu’s statements underscore the importance of African unity, good governance, and addressing security challenges to achieve economic integration and prosperity across the continent.