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Africa’s Developmental Aspirations Realisable through International Collaboration, Says Osinbajo


Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed that Africa’s developmental aspirations can be actualized by deepening cooperation and collaboration with the rest of the world.


He emphasized that the imperative of Africa’s economic sovereignty also exists as there are areas where public and private sector leaders must continue to strive for.


According to a release issued by the Media Assistant to the vice-president, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo spoke Monday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire at the opening of the ongoing Africa CEO Forum panel with the theme ‘Economic Sovereignty: From Ambition to Action’.


While emphasizing the need for collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world, the vice-resident said: “I think that we have to be a bit more careful with the concept of economic sovereignty because we really need to collaborate more and with the way that development is going, we need to watch some of these things.


“For instance, if we look at the way that technology is going which is key for us in Nigeria, particularly issues of taxation of tech companies and all of that, it is evident that this is difficult and it is a major expression of sovereign power – the power to tax.


“The way that the world and technology are structured today, there is no way that you can use the same basis – personal and territorial basis for taxation. These are multinational enterprises that spread across countries and continents.”


According to him, “We have got to cooperate with the world and the international tax system to ensure that we are able to derive maximum benefit. We have got to take a seat at the table and ensure that all of the various initiatives on international taxation favour us in Africa.


“While we are looking inwards, we have to be very careful to look outwards as well because a lot of money is obviously used by tech companies across the world and a lot of our countries are value creators for these companies.


“There is a great need for us to look inwards and at the same time keep our eyes on the ball because we need to recognize that the world has gone beyond brick and mortar. The world is now more about intellectual capital. We have to think of how we can work with the world to achieve maximum benefit for our intellectual capacity.”


On his part, the CEO of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, spoke about the concept of economic sovereignty, urging Africa to look inwards as a way of fast-tracking development on the continent.


He cited leveraging opportunities provided by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and improving infrastructure as some of the key areas that leaders in the continent must focus on.


Earlier in his opening remarks, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire commended the initiative of the organisers to bring together public and private sector leaders across the continent and beyond to discuss and develop new paths aimed at boosting the transformation of economies across Africa.


He noted that though the COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted growth projections in the continent, the vision of the forum and similar efforts are geared towards “building new partnerships between the public and private sector, especially providing opportunities for young Africans with particular focus on green economy”.


Also speaking, the President and Founder of the Africa CEO Forum, Amir Ben Yahmed, commended leaders across the continent for their efforts despite the disruptions in the global economy occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.


He noted that economic sovereignty, green economy and industrial transformation, among others, are new paths to Africa’s prosperity, adding that the projected impact of the AfCFTA on economies across the continent is premised on a viable and productive economy.

Culled from THISDAY

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