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Buhari to attend AU summit in Niamey Thursday

President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow leave for Niamey, the Republic of Niger, to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

A statement says the President will also attend the launching of French version of the book entitled, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria, as well as inaugurate the ‘Muhammadu Buhari Boulevard’, named after him by the Nigerien Government.

The naming of the Boulevard and launch of the French version of the book, written by John Paden, a Professor of International Studies at George Mason University, northern Virginia, United States, tomorrow will precede the AU Summit on Friday, this week.

President Buhari is expected to deliver his National Statement at the African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification, meeting under the theme “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation and Economic Diversification.

The high-level summit, being convened as part of the Africa Industrialisation Week annual commemorative activities, is expected to adopt a declaration, highlighting the importance of industrialisation and economic transformation on the continent and how to make progress in that regard.

The 20th of every November is commemorated as the Africa Industrialisation Day, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity in July 1989, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, the Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the Continental Free Trade Area, and as well launch additional operation tools.

The statement says Nigeria has continued to demonstrate a high level of commitment towards the full operationalisation of a Pan-African Free Trade Area that will create a single market for goods and services, liberalise and facilitate the movement of investment and business people across the continent.

Signed by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, it says In 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA Agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary session of the Assembly and launch of the operational phase of the trade deal, and thereafter ratified its membership of the AfCFTA in 2020.

President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, retired Major General Bashir Magashi, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

Others are the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the National Security Adviser, retired Major-General Babagana Monguno, and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back on Friday, this week.

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; editing by Abdullahi Lamino