By Helen Udoh,Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Africans home and abroad to connect and create a common front through strategic frameworks to address the challenges arising in the new world order.
This was stated during his keynote address at the second edition of the Global African Diaspora Symposium (GADS) held in Abuja.
Speaking through his representative Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, Minister of Transportatio.
He stated that the theme this year is very apt and timely as African Nations are looking towards the diaspora for continental development.
Mr Sambo equally stated that having Nigeria as this year’s host is very historic as the country is undergoing political transition to a New government, which will benefit diaspora engagement in the country.
He further added that the majority of our Diaspora are blazing trails and effecting exploits wherever they are all over the world in all endeavours.
Sambo said that globally, the Diaspora have become a force to be reckoned with, with regards to sustainable development of their varied home lands by regional bodies and national governments, through remittances, medical missions, educational visits, tourism and investment opportunities.
He applauded the African Diaspora Alliance for their endless support while charging them to remain steadfast as a model platform of connection, among the African Diaspora and Africa’s Institutions and governments.
Driving it home he equally commended Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), and the State Diaspora Focal Point Offices across States of the Federation for their contribution towards the strategic action plan on diaspora engagement in the socio-political and economic development of our Nation.
He concluded by saying that this forum be institutionalized as a biannual event, and used as a forum for monitoring and evaluating the progress of Africa’s engagement with its Diaspora.
Similarly, the Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Zubairu Dada stated that GADS event is taking place at an auspicious moment, especially as the 21st century has been earmarked as the century of human mobility and migration.
He added that there is an estimate of more than 250 million migrants of which 40 million of them are of African origin.
He noted that the figure is too much to ignore and it is imperative that Africa transforms its potential and Human Resources through an effective Diaspora engagement.
Amb Dada stressed the importance of the symposium, giving the level of detailed agenda and commitment of all stakeholders which will create an impactful policy recommendation for all relevant authorities.
Also speaking , the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in her opening remarks said, “no matter how far a river flows it can never cut off from its source, please don’t cut off from your source, let us make this source (Nigeria/Africa) a beautiful place to be”, she urged.
The NIDCOM Boss pointed out that such connection can only be built and is achievable through our Diasporans. Nigerians are the most educated immigrants in the world across all sectors be it healthcare, agriculture and engineering.
She expressed enthusiasm at the symposium and urged the young generations of diaspora to explore ways in which our continent can be fully developed. She added that the African Leaders and Governments have a huge role to play by paving the way, so the continent can be the best in the world.
About 64 countries are participating in the Symposium.
Media,Public Relations and Protocols Unit,