Published On: Mon, Apr 18th, 2016

Economic experts meet in Abuja to jaw – jaw on China-Africa trade investment

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By Etuka Sunday

A renowned British Economist and Politician, Sir Vince Cable, who was United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2015, and other economic experts will be arriving in Nigeria this weekend for the 2016 Africa Today Summit.

The summit, organised by Africa Today magazine in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI), is scheduled to take place in Abuja from Tuesday, April 26 to 27, starting 8:00am prompt. And it is on the highly topical issue of China-Africa Trade and Investment. It will address the pertinent question: China-Africa Co-operation: Who really benefits?

Two other distinguished international figures and experts that will join Sir Cable at the Abuja summit to address this highly relevant issue are: Professor Howard W. French, from Columbia University in New York, who is the author of the new world-acclaimed book, China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa, and Yun Sun, also a world-renowned expert on China’s relations with Africa, who is a senior researcher with the prestigious Washington DC-based Think-tank, The Brookings Institution.

They will be joined by senior Nigerian government officials and leading business people who have been invited to speak at the summit, including Babatunde Fashola, minister for power, works and housing, Okwchuwu Enelema, minister for industry, trade and investment, Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planning, Frank Jacobs, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Bassey E. O. Edem, president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers and Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ken Ukaoha, president of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), and Bola Akinterinwa, immediate past director general of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and others.

The summit’s chief host and publisher of Africa Today titles, Mr. Kayode Soyinka, announcing this in Abuja said he was delighted that the pan-African newsmagazine could attract such distinguished international figures like Sir Vince Cable, Professor Howard French and Yun Sun to the Abuja summit. He expressed his gratitude to Sir Cable for accepting Africa Today’s invitation to come to Nigeria to speak at the high profile Summit. He described the summit as “timely, highly relevant and very important” especially on the issue of China-Africa trade and investment it is addressing “bearing in mind the just-concluded visit to China by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Mr. Soyinka said the intention of Africa Today in bringing this summit to Nigeria is to help add to the pool of ideas available to the government as they try to take tough decisions in moving the economy forward, and help it enhance its process of policy making and formulation. He said he believes there is a lot to be learnt from listening to someone with the experience of Sir Vince Cable, who as UK’s Secretary of State for Business for over five years has had direct dealings and interactions with China.

Launched last year to mark the 20th anniversary of Africa Today, the hugely successful 2015 summit in Abuja was on the controversial subject of EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). It had in attendance Sir Shridath (Sonny) Ramphal, a former Commonwealth Secretary-General as Special Guest of Honour and Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador to Washington DC for Antigua and Barbuda, as Keynote Speaker.


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