By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja, Dec. 18, 2021
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit to provide concrete support to help defeat terrorism and insurgency in Africa.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement said the Nigerian leader made the call at the third edition of the Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday.
According to the president, the Boko Haram terrorist group, though fragmented by internal strife and degraded by Nigeria’s defense forces, is still active and preying on soft targets.
He expressed delight that the Summit convened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has given due consideration to the issue of terrorism, while also focusing on development and infrastructure in Africa.
‘‘Another area this Partnership must focus on, is the global challenge of climate change which is impacting us in Nigeria, Turkey, across Africa, and indeed across the world.
‘‘It has become a catalyst for conflict through food insecurity, drying up of lakes; loss of livelihood and youth migration, among others.
‘‘The trend is the same around the world where communities are overwhelmed by forest fires, rising sea levels, flood, drought and desertification.
‘‘I want to seize this opportunity to appeal for support for initiatives such as Africa’s Great Green Wall on Environment and Land Management, which is designed to fight the effects of climate change and desertification in Africa.
‘‘The initiative aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land in the 11 countries of the Sahel-Sahara strip, capture 250 million tons of carbon and, create 10 million green jobs by 2030,’’ he said.
On the global coronavirus pandemic, President Buhari urged nations to follow the example of Africa-Turkey cooperation, which emphasises solidarity and support in tackling the challenge.
‘‘The pandemic is a global challenge which calls for global solidarity and solutions and the Africa-Turkey cooperation model has proved to be an example to the world.
‘‘Not only has there been mutual support to respond to the pandemic but also mutual support to build resilience and sustainable development in other sectors.
‘‘We also commend the African Union for the excellent role it has been playing in coordinating the implementation process of the Partnership,’’ he said.
President Buhari noted that in view of the increasingly unpredictable nature of contemporary global challenges facing mankind, world leaders must continue to put the wellbeing of humanity at the centre of the agenda for the common good and prosperity of all.
‘‘We must therefore promote science, technology and innovation and share knowledge from research and development to better equip us to address present and future challenges in a more equitable and sustainable manner.
‘‘In this regard, Nigeria strongly endorses the Summit Declaration as well as the 2022-2026 Joint Action Plan,’’ he said.
While reaffirming that international trade is an engine for development and sustained economic growth, as well as the global eradication of poverty, the Nigerian leader welcomed the significant increase in trade figures between Africa and Turkey.
He urged the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) to assist in further increasing the level of Africa-Turkey trade, leading to a win-win for all countries.
President Buhari, who applauded President Erdogan for initiating the Turkey-Africa Partnership since 2008, said: “‘We are confident that given the level of openness, trust and commitment manifested in the Africa–Turkey Partnership, this cooperation mechanism will be a game-changer for our countries and set us on the path of sustainable development for our peoples.’’