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Nigeria greatest contributor to wealth creation in West Africa — AfDB

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), says Nigeria is the greatest contributor to wealth creation in West Africa, contributing about 75 per cent of regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Ebrima Faal, AfDB Senior Director for Nigeria said this in an interview with newsmen at the ongoing Annual Meetings of the Bank in Malabo.

According to Faal, Nigeria’s trade policy is anchored on ECOWAS, as it continues to play a coordinating role in the region through both the government and its vibrant private sector.

He said that in terms of free movement of persons, Nigeria had performed relatively well by ratifying the relevant ECOWAS instruments concerning free movement of persons, rights of establishments and free movement of workers.

According to him, Nigeria allows nationals holding valid travel document from all other ECOWAS countries to enter its shores visa-free.

Faal said that Nigeria had continued to make strides in trade integration with efforts to harmonise documentation and streamline processes that would allow for the free flow of trade across its borders.

The country director said “Nigeria has an active Export Promotion Council (NEPC), which champions implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, the main operational tool for promoting Free Trade in West Africa.

He, however, said that there was still much to be done on the integration of its productive value chains, especially in the areas of agriculture and the manufacturing sector for exports.

To this end, he said that the Ebonyi Ring Road project approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in April, would open up Enugu State to trade with Cameroon and other neighbours.

He said that the project, though the initiative of the state government, was a regional road as it crosses through the Enugu-Bamenda road corridor at two points, thereby providing residents in the area with easier access to Cameroon.

According to him, the AfDB is partnering with the Ebonyi Government to realise the project.

“In April 2019, the Bank approved a loan package of 70 million dollars for the Ebonyi State Ring Road project.

“While the project is a state initiative designed to link eight of the 13 local government areas in the state, it has strategic dimensions as it crosses the Bemenda road corridor at two points.

“Thereby providing residents in its zone of influence with easier access to Cameroon.’’

Faal said the Bank would continue to focus on improving the institutional framework for the coordination and management of regional projects through capacity support ECOWAS and other regional specialised institutions.

The specialised institutions, he said, are “power pools, corridors development authorities, river basin authorities, and regional statistical authorities’’, and national regional integration coordination agencies.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity’’.

The Annual Meetings provide opportunities for experts, governments, businesses, civil society, think-tanks and the academia to share their candid assessments on regional integration efforts and dialogue on critical issues concerning Africa’s development.

The meeting which opened on Monday with closed door sessions with dignitaries continues on Thursday.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

 

 

 

Foreign

Trump notes progress on opening day of G7 Summit

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Progress

“France and President @EmmanuelMacron have done a really great job thus far with a very important G-7.

Lunch with Emmanuel was the best meeting we have yet had.

Likewise, evening meeting with World Leaders went very well. Progress being made!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Before the summit, the French leader invited Trump to an impromptu lunch, during which the parties discussed a number of issues, including trade, tensions in the Persian Gulf, the situation in Libya and Iran.

The Group of Seven (G7) Summit officially opened in the city of Biarritz in southwestern France.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Foreign

Police hose G7 protesters in south France as summit begins

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Protesters

A few hundred people, many of whom have covered their faces with masks and scarves, have been marching though the city, screaming anti-police slogans.

The march is occurring in the part of the city surrounded by rivers from both sides, with bridges blocked by the police.

At one of the bridges protesters began provoking the police, who hosed them four times in response and then fired teargas at the crowd.

The procession is currently repeating its previous route.

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Star chef serves G7 leaders endangered bluefin tuna for dinner 

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Dinner

Star chef Cedric Bechade’s first course was a piperade, a typical dish of peppers, onions and tomatoes, and then a “marmitako,” a traditional fish stew made with fresh bluefin tuna that was caught by fishermen in the town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, south of Biarritz.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is an increasingly endangered species due to overfishing and is on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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35,000 join rally against racism in eastern German city rally

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Rally

The demonstration is organised by the group Unteilbar (Indivisible), which staged a similar protest in the capital, Berlin, last year, drawing 250,000 people.

”Tens of thousands of people from Dresden … as well as from many parts of Germany have shown their unmistakeable support for solidarity instead of exclusion,” said Ana-Cara Methmann, a spokeswoman for the organisers.

Among the attendees were Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and the leaders of the far-left Die Linke party, Bernd Riexinger and Katja Kipping.

“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, and neither do cuts to social services or the restriction of fundamental rights,” organiser Ario Mirzaie said.

The Unteilbar demonstration was taking place one week before state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, in which the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is expected to make significant gains.

The AfD is campaigning on an anti-immigration platform.

“Unteilbar … stands against any form of group-based misanthropy and anti-feminism, against limiting basic free rights, against social decline and poverty – for a society in which all people can live free from fear,” the organizers said a day before the rally.

YEE

(Exited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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20,000 join rally against racism in eastern German city of Dresden

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Rally

The demonstration is organised by the group Unteilbar (Indivisible), which staged a similar protest in the capital Berlin last year, drawing 250,000 people.

The group was due to give a more exact estimate of turnout later in the afternoon.

Among the attendees were Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, and the leaders of the far-left Die Linke party, Bernd Riexinger and Katja Kipping.

The Unteilbar demonstration was taking place, one week before state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, in which the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is expected to make significant gains.

The AfD is campaigning on an anti-immigration platform.

“Unteilbar stands for an open and free society.

AIB

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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