UNGA: Tinubu Advocated Stronger Ties With South Africa

By Mohammed Bello Doka. 
President Bola Tinubu has been actively pursuing economic development and diplomatic efforts to attract investments, as he engaged in extensive bilateral discussions with South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, in New York City, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.

President Tinubu emphasized the need for Africa to have a united stance on how the hundreds of billions of dollars spent through International Development Finance Institutions can cater to the specific needs of developing democracies in Africa. He pointed out that just as the Marshall Plan was established for the reconstruction and economic restoration of European nations after World War II through Bretton Woods institutions, Africa should not be neglected. President Tinubu stressed the importance of addressing the poverty and knowledge gaps in developing democracies, as building stable democracies requires not just political freedom, but also economic prosperity and food security.

Acknowledging President Tinubu's implementation of "brave" economic reforms, President Ramaphosa agreed that Nigeria and South Africa have the potential to create substantial wealth together through close and intentional partnership, leveraging on each other's strengths. Furthermore, he highlighted that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement provides an opportunity to deepen economic relations between the two nations.

President Ramaphosa also expressed the belief that when Nigeria and South Africa collaborate, they can make a significant impact globally on matters of mutual concern. He stressed the need for Africa to seek partners who will help advance its interests, as the continent has been historically exploited by wealthier nations.

Recognizing President Tinubu's effective leadership as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, President Ramaphosa mentioned the importance of emulating the solidarity demonstrated in West Africa in other sub-regions, particularly in Southern Africa given the events in Mozambique.

During the discussions, President Ramaphosa extended an invitation to President Tinubu to visit South Africa, building upon his recent visit to Nigeria. The invitation aimed to further deepen economic ties and strengthen the overall relationship between the two countries.

Accepting the invitation, President Tinubu emphasized the significance of Nigeria and South Africa collaborating to advance shared interests. He highlighted that a united Africa, with both nations working in synergy, has the potential to make a greater impact on global affairs and benefit over one billion Africans with their vast human and natural resources.

With the continent being an untapped ground for massive growth and economic opportunities, President Tinubu emphasized the need for African nations to take control of their resources and effectively utilize their collective strengths to achieve the best outcomes for everyone involved.

This productive and economically driven relationship between Nigeria and South Africa holds the promise of a stronger Africa, which can exert greater influence on the global stage.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

September 18, 2023

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