AEC’ll proffer homegrown solutions to Africa’s problems


By Moses Emorinken, Abuja

African Economic Congress (AEC) will proffer home grown economic solutions by Africans for Africa, which will be like no other, and will be without the usual foreign narratives and agendas we have been used to.

This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of the African Economic Congress, Nancy Illoh, during a press briefing Monday in Abuja.

She explained that the annual meeting which will take place from 4th to 6th of November at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, Abuja, will focus on “Building the Africa we want”. The congress is platform to shape a new framework for Africa’s cooperation.

According to her, “The African Economic Congress will focus on the strategic ramifications of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its future impact on Africa’s global cooperation and the African Industrial Revolution.

“The congress will contribute to this debate by explaining and promoting its priorities and policy actions to address challenges in areas like Trade and Investment, agriculture, economic policy, climate change and energy

“During the sessions, participants will also engage in an in-depth dialogue with a number of international financial institutions, economic stakeholders, industry players, and the international finance corporation, in order to review the development and adoption of policies and mechanisms for the engagement and effective participation of peoples”.

She explained that invitations have been extended to the Vice Presidents of some African Countries Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Burudi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Liberia.

“Dr Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, Dr. Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mitchell Elegbe, MD lnterswitch, Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Demola Sogunle, Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Fatoumata Ceesay, Former Speaker Gambia Parliament, Aliyu Abdulhameed, MD/CEO, NIRSAL, and a host of others have accepted the invitation of the congress and will participate in a range of sessions and meetings with leaders ftom politics, business and society from across Africa,” she said.

She further added: “African Economic Congress is clarion call for African Family Meeting. A man who lives on the bank of a river does not use spittle to wash his hands.

“The challenges of corruption, bad governance, sit-tight syndrome of political office holders, youths unemployment, poverty, human right abuse, terrorism etc cannot undermine the great height Africa can reach.

“Evil fingers of xenophobia and the prospect of African Continental Free Trade Agreement are two opposite sides of the future of African children.”

The Chairman of the board of the African Economic Congress, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, said, “The concept is unique and not an attempt to mimic any event. It is about the Africa way. It is about the Africa we want and not what development partners think that we deserve. Second, it is Afro-centric; it is Africans talking to Africans about what they believe and are deeply convinced is good for our continent.

“We are sitting on enormous resources. We don’t have to be a beggarly nation where our young are more concerned with travelling out of the country to other more developed countries to find a non-existent Eldorado.”

For the CEO of Connected development, Mr. Hamzat Lawal, “the conference is a platform for Africans, talking to Africans about the African problems, and proffer ‘Africanised solutions’-driven approaches.”

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