PM Browne tells African countries what they must do to be better than China

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
PM Browne attends Gala in Nigeria in Traditional African Attire

SOURCE: By Olawunmi Ojo

African countries could be better developed and be of more use to the rest of the world than China, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Alfonso Browne has said.

He said this was possible if Africa puts to good use a significant number of resources on the continent, and every African country becomes developed.

Mr Browne spoke during a courtesy visit to Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the Lagos House, Marina on Friday.

He said his country’s aspiration for Nigeria was to see her become a developed country within the next decade or two.

He said his nation was bent on ensuring that it was an early mover in the Caribbean to establish close linkages with Nigeria to increase trade and investment, stressing that the Caribbean and Africa must unite and work together to bring prosperity to the people.

Mr Browne noted that the key objective of his country was to strengthen the relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and Nigeria, as well as the Caribbean and the rest of Africa.

A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile quoted Mr Browne as saying that Antigua and Barbuda was ready to partner with Lagos State and Nigeria in general in trade and investments.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by his wife, Maria Browne; Ambassador Davin Joseph; Chairman/CEO of Air Peace Limited, Allen Onyema; Nigerian ex-International and Air Peace ambassador, Segun Odegbami and CEO of LIAT 2020 Airlines Antigua, Mrs. Hafsah Abdulsalam.

Speaking during the visit, attended by Lagos State First Lady, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and some members of the Lagos State Executive Council, Mr Sanwo-Olu said his administration will partner with Antigua and Barbuda in entertainment, arts, culture, and technology.

“We are building a bridge. The Caribbean is the sixth region of Africa. We can partner in the areas of culture, tourism, arts, and entertainment because we have a lot of things in common. We can quickly begin to ship between the two regions all of the things that are common to us.

“Our tourism potential, arts and culture, and the kind of music we listen to can infuse into our economy very quickly, and we will begin to see the benefits among us and the two regions,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu noted that technology was also a very important area of possible collaboration given that it knows no boundaries.

“We say we are the tech hub of Africa. All of the unicorns in tech start-ups have their origins in Lagos. So, technology can also be the strong handshake that we require.

“The time is now, and we all need to seize the opportunity. Mr. President has laid the background for us. He has said that he wants Nigeria to have a one trillion Naira GDP within the next couple of years, and that is the kind of thing we are saying.

“Nigeria cannot just sit back and be a developing country. We have to take that narrative up. If China and India can do it, Nigeria can do it. We need to take charge and let the world know that indeed, we are our brothers’ keepers, and distance should not be a hindrance,” the governor added.

Also speaking, Chairman/CEO, Air Peace Limited, Mr Onyema, commended the Lagos State governor, Mr Sanwo-Olu for receiving Mr Browne and his entourage.

He expressed delight that the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda was in Lagos to address Nigerian investors, noting that Lagos will benefit a lot from the business discussions.

Mr Onyema declared that Africa was the next destination for the entire world, noting that there was a second scramble going on for Africa.

“The West, Asians, and everybody else want a piece of Africa. We must have Africa for ourselves and accommodate others,” he said.

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