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Obaigbena To African Leaders: Tackle Poverty, Encourage Democracy, Restore Continent’s Dignity, Eliminate Visa Barriers 

THISDAY-ARISE Group Chairman Nduka Obaigbena has urged all sit-tight leaders in Africa to retire: “We’ll use media to change Africa.”

The Editor-In-Chief and Chairman of THISDAY-ARISE Media Group. Nduka Obaigbena has called upon leaders across the African continent to prioritise good governance and democracy, emphasising the need to tackle poverty on the continent.

Obaigbena, while hosting the All Africa Media Leaders Summit 2024 closing plenary on Friday, emphasised the need for African leaders to “fix the continent and restore the dignity that we deserve”.

“We have to build proper governance in Africa and encourage democracy across Africa. To that extent, we should salute the change coming from Senegal, where democracy is thriving. We urge all the sit-tight leaders around Africa; it is time to retire. We need to build a new continent and make poverty an issue to be tackled. If we don’t tackle poverty, we would not be able to build the governance structures we need to propel Africa and we cannot really be expecting the world to fix our poverty problem.

“Our poverty problem has to come from home. It is a matter of shame that African leaders will take themselves to go and sit with a prime minister in India or a prime minister in Italy or president of China. Do the leaders of China, Italy and Europe, come to sit with one African leader? Our leaders must fix Africa and give us the dignity that we deserve. Having said that, the media is the cornerstone for change and gradually, we would use the media to improve governance and change Africa.”

Identifying the removal of visa barriers as a crucial step towards facilitating meaningful trade within Africa, Obaigbena called for a swift change from the policymakers.

“I can only urge you, that the time for dialogue amongst the media, the time to engage our leaders on good governance is now. It is a matter of shame that you are a Nigerian or Kenyan or South African and you need visas to go across Africa, while in Europe, they cross borders without action.

“So, if we cannot fix the visa regime within our countries on our continents, how can we trade with ourselves? The first barrier that has to come down is the visa barrier between Africa for there to be meaningful trade within Africa.”

Chioma Kalu

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