Dr Adesuwa Erediauwa, a Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) has said that the West owes Africa and Nigeria support and equitable investments due to the exploitation that occurred in the past.
Dr. Erediauwa, who spoke with ARISE NEWS anchors about the proceedings of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in an interview, said that while Africa craves the support of America, the West owes it to Africa to provide equitable investments to the nations in Africa who need it.
The researcher said, “The west kind of owes us something, they owe Africa something because of all the exploitation of the past. And also, the same, because of the exploitation, that same intensity, that same effort could be directed towards Africa and Nigeria in a sort of balanced manner. For example, if that effort could be channelled toward Europe, we’re not less equal, we’re not less important. The same effort to help stabilize the economy because the goal of that plan was to stabilize Europe after the World War 2.”
She then explained that Africa does have a lot to offer the west, saying that it has to be a fair exchange as she said, “I think Nigeria has, Africa has a lot to offer the west. It has always been an unbalanced, unfair trade between Africa and the rest of the world. Now, we are determining, and we are saying that it should be more equitable, because the west needs Africa for obvious reasons- access to needed, very vital raw materials which they are already taking advantage of anyway.
“Access to vast markets for mass exports of their products, access to relatively cheap labour for their businesses which of course they want to expand and take advantage of economies of scale in production. I think Africa and Nigeria has a lot to offer the west apart from the history of the unbalanced relationship.”
When she was asked about her thoughts on the United Nations achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are to be fulfilled by the year 2030, she said, “To be honest, the state of the world now, it seems as though it will be difficult to achieve that. First of all, what’s the most glaring indicator is the attendance at the General Assembly. Only one of the P5, permanent members, the UN security council was present. That kind of spoke to some form of fragmentation, some form of division among the world powers. Also, with the security indications, the crisis, the geo-political conflicts, the food insecurity crisis, there is division in the world, and though it might be seeming as though that, especially the industrialized, the G7 nations for example by their attendance at the general assembly, though it may seem as though there is no confidence and there is no trust, it is still possible.”
She went on to say that she believes the developing nations, especially in Africa, will play a huge role in the actualization of these goals, saying, “I will say that it is possible because of the unity that the global south nations the developing nations. The developing nations tend to bond together, there’s more trust among the developing nations as it is now, and the developing nations are trying to forge a non-aligned stance. So, I think Africa can champion a world where there is more solidarity and trust. Because these so-called multipolar powers, they are trying to forge relations with Africa. It seems as though to them Africa is the price. So, since there is that struggle or scramble for Africa, it is the same Africa that will cause there to be a cohesion of everyone together.”
Erediauwa then addressed Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s speech, saying that she found it to be “interesting and enlightening,” saying that as much as the focus of the meeting was global progress, Tinubu’s speech took a turn and focused on Africa and Nigeria. She also said that as much as the President focused on Africa, he was able to tout Nigeria as being prepared for the world, being prepared to receive investments, to collaborate more in a more equitable manner.
She went on to commend President Tinubu for the work that he had done so far in highlighting Nigeria to international investors. She said that his political body language, his recent visits to source for investments, subsidy removal, etc, are vital signals to potential investors to other countries that Nigeria is ready to receive investors. “Surely, there is more that needs to be done, but I think so far, the effort he has made is commendable,” she said.