President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday touted Africa as a key player in global manufacturing as the world adapts to changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Buhari made the assertion in an article in Newsweek, a US publication.
“What we need now is for the vision of others to match our own,” Buhari said. “And Africa is positioned to play a critical role in the remolding of a post-coronavirus world that centers around manufacturing.”
The President said the continent can follow the lead of countries like South Korea and China in rapidly developing “home-grown consumer goods” and contribute to global development.
“What is true is that no country or continent has a permanent monopoly on manufacturing jobs,” he said.
He emphasized the continent’s young population, improving governance reforms and investment in infrastructure as reasons for optimism.
He added that the continent holds “shared values in democracy, freedoms of speech and religion with the Western world—and admiration and determination to learn and follow the rapid economic growth and poverty reduction that has occurred across Asia.”
In his comment, Buhari also said Nigeria could now move forward with its infrastructure ambitions after close to a billion dollars of funds stolen from the country “under a previous, undemocratic junta in the 1990s” have now been returned to the country from the U.S, U.K, and Switzerland.
The “undemocratic junta” was a reference to the military government of General Sani Abacha, who presided over the country between 1993 and 1998 and reportedly looted billions of dollars from Nigerian coffers.