At Franco-African summit, Buhari canvases better defence against insecurity

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the strengthening of African Defence mechanisms to enable the continent tackle its numerous security and financial challenges.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina in a statement on Saturday stated that President Buhari made the call at the 27th Africa-France Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence taking place in Bamako, Mali.
In the statement, Adesina quoted President Buhari as stating that the call had become imperative in view of the need to transform decisions arising from the partnership to concrete action plans that would help Africa confront and overcome its challenges.
“In particular, our cooperation should strengthen our Defence in the context of African Peace and Security Architecture, as well as in the areas of intelligence sharing, capacity building and acquisition of military hardware needed to confront the security challenges of the African continent.”
The President noted that the partnership between the African continent and France had yielded fruits in many positive ways, but that France could do more to help Africa overcome its challenges.
He listed some of the challenges to include terrorism, maritime insecurity, trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons, drugs, cyber insecurity, illicit financial flows and infrastructural deficit, which he said had continued to militate against Africa’s comprehensive infrastructural and economic development.
“France has been playing important roles in the areas of development, as well as peace and security on the African continent.
“While so many gains have been made, challenges such as terrorism, maritime insecurity, trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons, drugs, cyber insecurity, illicit financial flows, and infrastructural deficit continue to militate against Africa’s comprehensive infrastructural and economic development,” he noted.
According to him, those challenges also hinder the emergence of the continent as an important player in global affairs.”
The Nigerian President also called for intensification of efforts that would stimulate the African economy, address social imbalance and steer its youths away from high risk and unproductive ventures.
“Efforts should also be geared towards the development and emergence of the continent through investments in critical sectors such as Education, Power, Solid Minerals, Agriculture and ICT.
“This will enable African economies to spur productivity and create employment, thereby addressing some of the socio-economic conditions that contribute to gender inequality, radicalism and youth restiveness,” he said.
While declaring that African countries were taking their own destinies in their own hands by mobilizing resources, Buhari hoped that the Partnership would still do more for Africa.
“As we continue to mobilize for our own sustainable, predictable and transparent sources of finance that would help the continent pursue its peace, security and development efforts and address the infrastructural deficit impeding development on the continent, there is the need for this Partnership to continue to assist Africa on how to finance its development,” said Buhari.

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