States of the South-South region in Nigeria have resolved to share perspectives on issues of development, conflict and post-crisis management challenges with Rwanda in an emerging partnership between both parties.
Recall that President of Rwanda, Dr. Paul Kagame is among the esteemed global business and leading colossuses who have indicated intentions to participate at the second South-South Economic Summit scheduled for April 26-28, 2012 in Asaba, Delta State.
Others include former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani; the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, Admiral Mike Mullen and first Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Professor John Lipsky.
Blank NEWS Online reports that the South South regional states have also planned to tap on the experiences of Rwanda in resolving its conflict situation and tackling the security challenges and economic problems of the region.
Already a delegation of the States including the chairman of the South South Governors Forum, Senator Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has met with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to work out the modalities of the cooperation.
To cement this new partnership, President Kagame will be in Nigeria later this month to give a talk during the Second Economic Summit of the South South States billed Asaba between April 26 and April 28.
Fielding questions from journalists shortly after the delegation’s meeting with President Kagame in Kigali, Tuesday evening, Governor Uduaghan said that the region under the BRACED Commission resolved to tap on the Rwandan experiences.
“We believe we should have someone who have had experience and success in crisis management and post-crisis management in tackling our peculiar situation hence the need to look in the direction of President Kagame and Rwanda”, he stated.
He said that the objective was to come together to see how the region can come out of the crisis situation to become an investment destination.
Besides, Dr. Uduaghan stressed that the mission was to ensure how the South South States can work together with Rwanda to develop the natural resources in the region for their economic growth.
His words: “We believe that the continent of Africa should first of all look inwards. What has been happening even from colonial era is that we have been waiting for others to come and develop us. But we have the natural resources and most importantly the human resources in Nigeria and Rwanda to be able to grow far beyond where we are now”.
Other members of the delegation at the Kigali meeting are the Director-General of the BRACED Commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi and the Publisher of Thisday Newspapers, Mr Nduka Obaigbena.
According to the spokesman for the summit and Delta state Information Commissioner, Chike Ogeah Esq., the theme of the three-day summit is ‘investment, development, security’, and intended “to underscore the fact that the South-South is developing and ready for investment and more importantly that the region is secure for all investors and their investments”.
Kagame is bringing the perspective of a freedom fighter and as the leader who rebuilt Rwanda from the ruins of genocide against monumental odds. He is one of the few African leaders recognized globally as “progressive”.
Under his leadership, Rwanda has been called Africa’s ‘biggest success story’ and Kagame has become a public advocate of new models for foreign aid designed to help recipients become self-reliant. He is billed to give a development keynote on ‘Post-conflict Development Policies’.
Mullen, a security strategist and expert, was the immediate past Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US. Ogeah said Mullen’s presence would reinforce the steely resolve of the federal government and the South-South states to ensure the security of lives and property especially at this time when global peace is being threatened.
Giuliani, a global brand in law and good governance skills, will be speaking on ‘Leadership in Times of Crisis”. The former IMF boss is coming to Nigeria with a wide-ranging knowledge vault on international law, administration, security management and investment banking.
He received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 because of the noble role he played during the 9/11 terror crisis in the US. During his tenure as Mayor of New York, crime rate was reported to have dropped significantly.
Before joining the IMF, Lipsky was Vice Chairman of the JPMorgan Investment Bank. A Stanford University doctorate degree holder in economics, Ogeah said the summiteers would benefit from his vast bandwidth of experience in enterprise management and public sector reforms.
The summit is convened by the BRACED Commission, an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta states.
This year’s summit is the second in the series following the maiden summit held in Calabar, Cross River State in 2009.