NIGERIAN Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has called on countries under the aegis of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States to focus its future around areas of comparative advantage including trade, investment and technology.
According to a statement on Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke at the just concluded ACP Summit of Heads of States on Wednesday in Papua, New Guinea.
Akande quoted Osinbajo as saying that while the ACP Group had done well, Nigeria is of the view that the group should not stretch itself further but rather focus on areas of comparative advantage.
He listed three areas which he described as future pillars for the group as trade and investment, government development cooperation through technology, as well as political dialogue and advocacy.
In the area of technology, Osinbajo suggested that efforts should be focused on job creation.
He added that young people should be encouraged to go into areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and education.
Under technology, he said areas such as computer application, programming, lighting, soft ware applications and so on, should be explored to engage young people in ACP countries “to ensure that our young people” are in the cutting edge of technology.
The statement added, “Responding to the report on the future of the ACP, presented to the summit by the Eminent Persons Group led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice-President Osinbajo noted the important suggestions and recommendations in the report and assured the summit of Nigeria’s continuing support of the ACP.
The ACP was formed in 1975 with the Cotonou Agreement, and composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, save Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the ‘ACP-EC Partnership Agreement.’
The agreement binds them to the European Union.
There are 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific, in the ACP.