Buhari Returns To Abuja After AU Summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after attending the 12th extraordinary summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The president’s aircraft arrived the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja this afternoon.

READ ALSO: Buhari Objects Admission Of Own INEC Bio-Data Before Tribunal

At the opening of the summit in Niamey, the President signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area(AFCTA) agreement, making Nigeria the 53rd country on the continent to ratify and append its signature after extensive consultations for months with stakeholders assessing its readiness to join the Free Trade Area.

The Africa Continental Free Trade area has a potential market of 1.2 billion people.

On the sidelines of the summit, the President met with the Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr Mansur Muhtar, soliciting more support to address Nigeria’s development challenges including her infrastructure deficit.

African Union First Ladies Call For Rise In Taxes On Alcohol, Tobacco

First lady of Burkina Faso Sika Bella Kabore reads a statement on stage during a meeting at the palais des Congres in Niamey, on July 6, 2019, on the sidelines of the African Union summit.

 

First ladies attending the African Union summit in Niger on Saturday called for a rise in taxes for cancer-causing products such as tobacco and alcohol.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit at Niamey, Sika Bella Kabore, the first lady of Burkina Faso, read out a joint appeal for more effective measures to tackle cancer.

As well as calling for cancer to be included in strategic planning, they called for higher taxes on tobacco, alcohol and other carcinogenic products.

Both drink and cigarettes are cheaper in most African countries than in western countries, where a tax on such products tends to be incorporated into health policies.

READ ALSO: Buhari Arrives Niamey Ahead Of AU Summit

Cancer specialist Alain Toledano of the Rafael Institute in Paris welcomed the initiative.

“Africa is rightly concerned most of all with contagious diseases,” said Toledano, who is also president of the Franco-African Cancerology Association.

But he added the major issue they had forgotten was cancer.

“Nineteen million people will die in a year from cancer, 70 percent of them in the poorest countries,” he said. “So there will be millions of deaths in Africa.

“If we want to succeed in our objective of raising life expectancy from 60 to 75 by 2063, we have to fight cancer,” he added.

It is important to invest not just in treatment but in testing to catch the disease early, he said — adding that investment in this area would pay off.

“Healthier populations are people who work more, who consume more and who cost less,” he argued.

AFP

President Buhari Returns To Abuja After AU Summit

President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country after attending the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Mauritania.

The President, who travelled to Mauritania on Saturday, departed Nouakchott on Monday and arrived in Abuja hours later.

AU Summit: Buhari Calls For Repatriation Of Stolen Assets Without Legal Obstacles

In the course of his three-day trip, President Buhari addressed the summit on the theme: ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption, A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.

He called on nations where looted assets have been stashed to release them without the usual long technicalities involved in the process of repatriation.

“We must all collectively work to place high on the agenda the need for open and participatory government, as well as the repatriation of stolen assets without procedural technicalities and legal obstacles,” President Buhari had informed country leaders at the meeting.

He had also revealed that three different regional consultative workshops were organised, in line with his campaign programme to sensitise Africans on the evil effects of corruption on the society.

“The scourge of illicit financial flows continues to bite, eating back the gains and militating against the attainment of our aspirations under Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda,” the President had added.

On the sidelines of the summit, President Buhari met with French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed, among others.

He was accompanied on the trip by the Nasarawa and Edo state governors, Tanko Al-Makura and Godwin Obaseki, as well as ministers and heads of government agencies.

The Scourge Of Illicit Financial Flows Continues To Bite – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the negative effects that corruption has had on societies, saying that “the scourge of illicit financial flows continues to bite”.

The President said this at the AU summit while urging member states to take decisive steps in fighting the menace.

“The scourge of illicit financial flows continues to bite, eating back the gains and militating against the attainment of our aspirations under Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda,” he said in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, on Sunday.

He, therefore, emphasized the need to utilize cooperation mechanisms through voluntary information exchange, mutual legal assistance and sharing of information on best practices among anti-corruption agencies, audit agencies and investigative bodies.

Furthermore, President Buhari said he will be partnering with the African Union (AU) Chairperson to enhance the anti-corruption battle on the continent.

“I plan to convene the African Youth Congress in Abuja within the next quarter, and we will be working with the Chairman of the African Union, His Excellency, Paul Kagame and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, to organize an Interactive Dialogue on the theme at the next session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York during the high-level segment.”

He also called on member states that are yet to ratify the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption to take all necessary measures to sign and ratify it.

The President thanked African Heads of State and Government for their continued support in driving and amplifying the African Union anti-corruption agenda.

“Your unwavering support remains a strong source of strength and encouragement as we look forward to an even more vigorous second half of this year,” he said.

AU Summit: Buhari Calls For Repatriation Of Stolen Assets Without Legal Obstacles

President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders at the 31st AU Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania on 1st July 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari at the AU Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania called on nations where looted assets have been stashed to release them without the usual long technicalities involved in the process of repatriation.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

President Buhari in his introductory remarks as the leader of the African Union theme of the year, Winning the Fight against Corruption, A Sustainable Path to Africas Transformation, said all hands must be on deck to achieve this.

“We must all collectively work to place high on the agenda the need for open and participatory government, as well as the repatriation of stolen assets without procedural technicalities and legal obstacles,” he said.

President Buhari also appraised the anti-corruption efforts noting that workshops were organised in different regions to create awareness on the war against corruption.

“During the last 6 months, we have engaged in multi-sectoral dialogue with a broad range of actors including parliamentarians, national anti-corruption agencies, civil society, media, youth and women groups and development partners. We have convened three different regional Consultative Workshops in line with my campaign programme to sensitise our people on the evil effects of corruption on our societies.

“These workshops will be extended to other regional blocs as we continue the fight against corruption in a bid to transform our continent.”

AU Summit Host Warns Of ‘Security Failings’ In Sahel Amid New Mali Attack

President Muhammadu Buhari (3rd left) among other African leaders during the official opening of the 31st Session of African Union (AU) in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Sunday, July 1.

 

The African Union summit opened on Sunday with host Mauritania warning of regional security failings in the face of jihadist violence, as French soldiers were targeted in a fresh attack in Mali.

A bombing aimed at French soldiers on patrol in the country’s troubled north killed four civilians and injured over 20 people, Malian authorities said.

On Friday, a suicide bombing hit the Mali headquarters of the five-nation force known as G5 Sahel, adding to concerns about how it can tackle the jihadist groups roaming the region.

It was the first attack on the headquarters of the five-nation force, which was set up with French backing in 2017 to fight jihadist insurgents and criminal groups in the vast and unstable Sahel region.

In total, four separate attacks killed 15 people in Mali in three days, as the West African nation prepares to go to the polls on July 29.

The leaders of the G5 Sahel states — Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad — held a meeting on Sunday on the sidelines of the AU summit, according to a diplomatic source from one of the member countries.

The meeting was aimed at preparing discussions between French President Emmanuel Macron and his G5 Sahel counterparts, the same source said.

Security is high on the agenda at the AU summit in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott being attended by more than 40 African heads of state and government as well as Macron, who will meet G5 leaders to focus on progress made by the force.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said the Friday bombing “hit the heart” of the region’s security and lashed out at a lack of international help.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Support Group for Islam and Muslims, the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, claimed the attack in a telephone call to the Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar.

‘UN doors closed’

“It was a message sent by the terrorists at this precise moment when we are getting organised to stabilise and secure our region,” Aziz told France 24 television.

“If the headquarters was attacked, it is because there are so many failings we need to fix if we want to bring stability to the Sahel.”

The G5 aims to have a total of 5,000 troops from the five nations but has faced funding problems.

It operates alongside France’s 4,000 troops in the troubled “tri-border” area where Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso meet, and alongside the UN’s 12,000-strong MINUSMA peacekeeping operation in Mali.

Underscoring the regional insecurity, four Malian soldiers were also killed on Saturday when their vehicle drove over a landmine in the central Mopti region.

Aziz said the G5 was a “sovereign initiative” of Sahel states that face not only security problems but drought, poverty, unemployment and trafficking.

“We are not at all satisfied with the help we are getting. We also feel that the doors of the United Nations are closed.”

Free trade, migration

African leaders will also look at a planned ceasefire in South Sudan’s civil war and at the detente between Ethiopia and Eritrea, whose relations have been poisoned for decades.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who holds the presidency of the 55-nation AU, will make a call to promote free trade.

Currently, African countries only conduct about 16 percent of their business with each other, the smallest amount of intra-regional trade compared to Latin America, Asia, North America and Europe.

Meanwhile, discussing the flow of migrants from Africa to Europe, Aziz told France 24 it was a “result of the ‘destruction’ of Libya by Western strikes”.

“I am not saying that all responsibility lies with Europe, we must deal with the problem upstream,” said the former general who took power in a coup in 2008 and has since been elected twice.

AFP

PHOTOS: President Buhari Attends AU Summit In Mauritania

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday attended the opening of African Union (AU) summit. 

The summit of African leaders is the 31st Session of AU and is currently taking place in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Federal government officials including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Nassarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Almakura; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Director General NIA, Rufai Alkali were also with President Buhari at the summit.

The session will hold from today, June 30, to July 2 and President Buhari will speak on the theme: ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption, A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.

See photos below:

President Buhari In Mauritania For AU Summit

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Mauritanian counterpart, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, on his arrival for the 31st AU Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on June 30, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Mauritania on Saturday ahead of the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).

He was received in the capital city of Nouakchott by the Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, and other top government officials in the country.

At the session, which holds from today, June 30, to July 2, President Buhari will speak on the theme: ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption, A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.

According to a statement on Friday his Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari will also take part in other activities on the sidelines of the session.

It’s the first time Mauritania is hosting the AU Summit since the birth of the union.

President Buhari is being accompanied on the trip by the Nasarawa and Edo state governors, Tanko Al-Makura and Godwin Obaseki, as well as other top government officials.

See photos of the President’s arrival in Mauritania below;

President Buhari Travels To Mauritania For AU Summit

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Mauritanian counterpart, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, on his arrival for the 31st AU Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on June 30, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has travelled to Mauritania for the 31st Ordinary session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

The President left the country on Saturday after a paying a one-day condolence visit to Katsina State over the havoc wreaked in parts of the state by a windstorm.

PHOTOS: President Buhari In Mauritania For AU Summit

At the session, which holds from today, June 30, to July 2, President Buhari will speak on the theme: ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption, A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.

According to a statement on Friday his Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari will also take part in other activities on the sidelines of the session.

For instance, the President and other African leaders will take part in an interactive session with President Emmanuel Macron of France on Financing AU-led Peace Support Operations authorised by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Dominant issues affecting the continent such as peace and security, HIV/AIDS, regional cooperation, climate change will also form part of discussions of the African leaders.

Beyond that, President Buhari will also hold series of high-level bilateral sessions on issues of shared common interests to the country, Africa, and the world.

Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, his Edo State counterpart Godwin Obaseki, and other top government officials were part of the President’s entourage.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, and President Muhammadu Buhari at the Katsina Airport
Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, and other officials interact with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Katsina Airport

President Buhari To Attend AU Summit In Mauritania

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President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on an official visit to Nouakchott, Mauritania, Saturday, to attend the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government from June 30 to July 2, 2018.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina on Friday.

According to the statement, the President as the leader of the AU, will make introductory remarks and presentation on the theme: “Winning the Fight against Corruption, A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.

Also, on the margins of the Summit, President Buhari and other African leaders will take part in an interactive session with President Emmanuel Macron of France on Financing AU-led Peace Support Operations authorized by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Dominant issues affecting the continent such as peace and security, HIV/AIDS, regional cooperation, climate change will also form part of discussions of the African leaders.

Beyond that, President Buhari will also hold series of high-level bilateral sessions on issues of shared common interests to the country, Africa and the world.

Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, his counterpart in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and other top government officials will be on the President’s entourage.

Buhari Arrives In Abuja After AU Summit

President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after a successful outing at the 30th session of the Africa Union summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He was welcomed on Tuesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Director General of NIA, Ahmed Rufai; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.

The President left Abuja for the summit in Ethiopia on Friday, January 26, 2018.

He joined 14 other members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), a standing organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts as they discussed matter relating to corruption, the persistence of violent conflicts and crisis situations in some parts of the continent, an upsurge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees, climate change and its consequences, as well as the issue of the derailment of national development programmes.

Other issues that were discussed include the security situation in Somalia, South Sudan, Libya, Guinea Bissau, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

As the President arrives the country today, Nigerians and Africans are hoping that there will be less talk and more of implementation of some of the resolutions reached at the summit.