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Africa Prefers Fair Trade to Marshall Plans – VP Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has told the international community that rather than giving African countries aid, western countries should facilitate fair trade policies that could fast-track socio-economic development in the continent.

The Vice President was quoted by his Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement as giving the charge Wednesday in his remarks at an Interactive Session Titled “Stabilizing the Mediterranean” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Osinbajo, who spoke on sundry factors undermining efforts to achieve inclusive growth in most countries in Africa despite determined drives of the governments, canvassed some policy-driven partnerships between Europe and Africa in order to achieve sustainable growth of the African economies.

The Vice President in response to a question during the interactive session specifically expressed doubt about the efficacy of aid through the years.

According to him, rather than seeing some of the challenges facing African countries as regional, a more global and broader perspective should be given them in order to achieve the goals of interventions being provided by the western countries.

He explained: “The idea of the Marshall Plan is to me, in some sense, bringing old solutions to what really is a dynamic problem.

“I think that what Africa needs and what a lot of the southern neighbours of the Europeans need are fairer trade policies and a cocktail of policies that centre on job creation in those locations, more investments, but I think more thinking through those ideas and policies that create more opportunities, partnership between Europe and Africa.

“I don’t think that aid has worked through the years. I think that there’s a need for possibly just much more commitment to the whole process.

“I mean there have been multi-processes, several of them, but I certainly think that if we look at this as a major global problem and when you look around and look at extremism, terrorism and all of the various things that are exported along with illegal migration, it is a global problem and we really does deserve a global solution and the way to look at that is by coming together to reason these things through, but frankly it is not by those Marshal Plans off the shelf, I think it is more nuanced than that”, the VP added.

On whether he feels that values of human rights are being compromised in order for Europe to have tactical immediate solutions or not, the Vice President said that he agreed that it was a great shock to see actual slave dealings in this 21st century.

According to him, what is being seen is a degeneration of criminal activities where one finds that state capacity is unable to maintain international human rights norms.

While suggesting that one of the crucial things is to encourage repatriation, Osinbajo explained that the Nigerian government, for example, was working with the Libyan government in repatriating everyone who is in the camps.

The VP said: “It is a slow process because there are those who claim nationalities because they see a way out of the camps. There is also a great deal of willingness on the part of those who are in the camps to go back because it is entirely voluntary. There is pressure where there is no state capacity or inadequate state capacity to maintain law and order and international human rights norms.

“The pressure is a bit too much for the Libyan authorities, so what you find is that the criminal gangs and all of these asymmetric type organizations dominate the space and we may not be able to do much without relieving the Libyan authorities of a lot of the illegal migrants in their custody or their country”, he added.

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