FG Signs Agreement to Host AfricJapan-Afric-Asia Headquarters for International Coorperation
The Federal Government of Nigeria and the AfricJapan- AfricAsia International Cooperation have signed a Headquarters agreement in Abuja Friday, July 12, 2019.
AfricJapan-AfricAsia is a development agency specifically established through collaboration of various Asian and Pacific countries made up of Japan, China, South Korea, India, Malaysia, among others to contribute towards the development of Africa.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning Mr. Ernest Umakhihe, exchanged notes on the Agreement, on behalf the FG with the International President of AfricJapan-AfricAsia International Cooperation, His Excellency Ferdinand Bleka.
Mr Umakhihe, in his address stated that since the inception of the AfricJapan-AfricAsia in 2009, the Agency with its Headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has been contributing its quota through mobilization of financial and material resources to support development and poverty alleviation projects in Africa.
He said, “in view of the strategic position of Nigeria in Africa, coupled with other factors, it was considered expedient to relocate the Headquarters to Nigeria. It is against this backdrop that the Federal Ministry of Justice initiated action towards the execution of the Headquarters Agreement in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, thus culminating in the signing ceremony”.
The Permanent Secretary lauded the representatives of the AfricJapan-AfricAsia International Cooperation for their immense contributions towards the development of Nigeria through their various sectoral interventions; and also acknowledged the vital role played by the Federal Ministry of Justice in making this Headquarters Agreement a reality, while stressing that the relocation of the Agency’s Headquarters to Nigeria is a welcome development as it will bring about increase in the benefits the country derives from the Asian and Pacific nations and foster improved business relationships.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice Mr Dayo Apata (SAN), represented by Mrs Janet Awanen – Assistant Director International and Comparative Law in the Ministry, stated that the Government of Nigeria is happy to be part of the agreement with AfricJapan-AfricAsia.
He said that Nigeria is not a new partner and also has an existing relationship with Japan through TICAD, as well as expressed believe that this relationship is going to be a mutually beneficial one, with a lasting relationship based on mutual respect, trust and similar interest.
According to him, Nigeria is thrilled with the signing of the agreement which will only formalize the Country’s already existing relationship with Japan and Asia.
In his remarks during the agreement signing, the President of the AfricJapan-AfricAsia International Cooperation, His Excellency, Ferdinand Bleka said that the Cooperation strongly believes that it is possible to put an end to famine, poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in Africa and so jointly embark in compact partnership with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order to mobilize funds that are flying over Africa and ensure their proper landing on the continent to serve the purpose.
He said within the framework of its mission which is to forge a global partnership around Africa’s development issues and strategy, AfricJapan-AfricAsia is bringing on board innovative solutions of funding mechanisms for country development programs to make sure that opportunities no longer elude Africa.
Mr Bleka, therefore, called on Nigerian Businessmen to attend the forthcoming TICAD 7 scheduled for Yakohoma, Japan in August in order to penetrate the Japanese and Asian Markets.
He explained that TICAD 7 will provide a unique opportunity for Nigeria and African Countries among others, to ensure their food security, build infrastructure, train their students in Japan, strengthen the capabilities of states and Governors and also increase opportunity for employment.
Salisu B. Haiba
Asst Director (Information)