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Foreign summits: African leaders need to stay at home and work, says Pat Utomi

 


Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy, says African leaders need to be more locally engaged instead of attending every foreign summit they are invited to.

Utomi said this on Friday via his X account, while reacting to the Saudi-Africa summit scheduled to take place in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital city, on November 10.

The maiden summit will revolve around supporting joint action, enhancing political coordination, addressing regional security threats, facilitating economic transformation through research and the local development of new energy solutions, all while bolstering cross-sectoral investment cooperation, according to Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson.

Ngelale also said President Bola Tinubu will underscore Nigeria’s commitment to attracting more foreign direct investments and expanding business partnerships, “which are strongly reinforced by his administration’s ongoing domestic economic reforms”.

Speaking on the summit, the economist said African leaders need to respect themselves, stay back home and do some work, adding in a tongue-in-cheek manner that at this rate, Oman would soon summon them and they would happily fly over.

 

Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world.

 

“Why does everyone have a summit with Africa? The US does. Russia does. China does etc., now Saudi Arabia,” Utomi tweeted.

“Can African leaders respect themselves, stay at home and do the work that will liberate this continent from hundreds of years of servitude or soon Oman will summon them.”

Some of the summits Tinubu have attended since May include the G20 summit in India, Global Financing Pact summit in France, and the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima had represented his principal at the Russia-Africa summit.

Tinubu will also attend the Arab-Africa summit in Riyadh on November 11.

The intended outcome of the summits, the presidency has repeatedly said, is to “attract foreign investments” to the country.

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