At the United Nations General Assembly, President Bola Tinubu gave his maiden speech in the early hours of Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
He highlighted some critical challenges that require the cooperation of all member states. He also urged the global partners to support the development of Africa through increased investments and other means.
Among the topics he discussed were the recent military takeovers in some African countries and their implications for democracy and stability.
The development of Africa
While aligning with the theme of the 78th UN General Assembly, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity”, Tinubu said that Africa is ready to engage in mutually beneficial businesses with investors who are interested in the continent’s potential.
He highlighted the need for direct investment in key sectors and meaningful debt relief as part of the partnership.
He also appealed to potential partners to allow more and better access to their markets for African exports.
Democracy and military coups in Africa
President Tinubu condemned the recent military takeovers in Africa that toppled elected governments. He said these events reflected the need for solutions to the long-standing issues in the continent.
As the head of ECOWAS, Tinubu said he is in talks with the Nigerien military leaders to restore democracy and address the political and economic crises in the country. He also expressed his opposition to any political system that allows injustice to prevail.
Terrorism and human trafficking in Africa
The Nigerian leader expressed his worries about the prolonged fight against extremist violence in Africa.
He said this has created a dark channel of cruel trade on the continent where criminals sell men, women and children as their own property.
Tinubu urged the international community to increase its efforts to stop the movement of weapons and terrorists into the West African regions, in order to tackle human trafficking and terrorism in the continent.
Protection of mineral-rich areas in Africa
President Tinubu urged the world to join forces to protect Africa’s mineral wealth from plunder and violence. He said that many African regions with valuable minerals have become sites of suffering and abuse, as foreign actors arm local criminals to illegally extract gold and other resources from the continent.
He pointed out that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has endured decades of exploitation, despite the strong UN presence there. He also warned that the chaos caused by the looting of Africa’s resources does not respect national borders.
He appealed to the UN member states to cooperate with Africa to prevent their companies and citizens from participating in this modern-day robbery of the continent’s riches.
President Tinubu also spoke about the consequences of climate change for Nigeria, Morocco and Libya, and expressed his confidence that African countries are willing to take action against this global challenge, but only in ways that suit their own interests and needs.
He also outlined some of the measures that his government is planning to implement in Nigeria to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He urged the developed countries to show more support and commitment to Africa’s chosen solutions, by increasing both public and private sector funding for the continent’s climate initiatives.
He said this would be a significant step towards showing that the world is truly united and cooperative in tackling climate change