As Delta State hosts the second South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan along with other Governors in south-south geo-political zone have been charged to work together with a view to realising regional social-economic emancipation of the region. The President of Rwanda, Paul Kigame, represented at the Summit by the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board, Mr. John Kigara said the South-South shared similar history with Rwanda.
He stated that the zone has a lot of economic advantages over some countries, adding that oil which had been the mainstay of the Nigerian economy is derived from the zone. President Kigame advised African leaders to avail themselves of the Rwandan experience by fashioning a holistic approach towards reviving their economies, as well as facilitating development in their areas. President Kigame said effective development could only take place in a well defined and enabling environment where good governance would be entrenched for the growth and development of the people. He pointed out that transformation entailed the restoration of peace, unity, security and national dialogue,which he said, was the approach adopted by Rwanda in her determination for the social-economic development of the country.
He further enjoined leaders in the South-South and Africa at large to ensure an accountable and effective ruling style, saying that they should take the citizenry as their responsibility even as he maintained that they should be empowered to participate in their own government. President Kigame advised that security challenges should be adequately tackled through a more pragmatic and common tier between the South-South zone and Africa at large.
Earlier, the Noble Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka who delivered the keynote address informed the South-South governors to embrace Social-economic development of the areas through infrastructural development of the region. He urged them to shun corruption and foster a common goal, adding that they should create a community of interest where issues bordering on ways of fast-tracking their economy would be articulated. He said for any nation to achieve economic growth and development, the country needed an assembly of people with proven integrity who would examine their present with a view to determining their future.
Prof. Soyinka posited that the basic judgment of any humanity, especially for our political leaders, is to leave a legacy where there would be visible structure for the overall benefit of the people, adding that they should show more practicality to their actions rather than being rhetorical. Meanwhile, the Director General of the BRACED Commission, Amb. Joe Keshi disclosed that the commission was born out of the desire of the region to foster economic cooperation, integration and the need to raise the living standard of the BRACED states through investment in the region.
He stressed that the leadership of the south south states came together with the need for job creation, poverty reduction, and sustenance of the economy in case of when there will be no more oil. He promised that the summit would among other things attempt to arrest the falling standards of education among other vital areas, and that It will further promote regional development. Calling for a rethink for national development agenda, Keshi noted that individual states in the region would contribute on the strength of their area of comparative advantage.