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US Consul General identifies Africa’s greatest challenges

The United States Consul General in Nigeria, Will Stevens, has revealed the greatest challenges of Africa including climate change and food insecurity.

Stevens made the revelation on Wednesday while addressing students during the launch of the ‘Recycling Waste to Wealth Challenge’ competition for secondary school students at Abeokuta Window on America, located at the youth development centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The Recycling Waste to Wealth Challenge is a U.S. government-supported enterprise competition for students in vocational and technical colleges in Ogun State, according to Independent.

He maintained that Africa faces huge challenges, ranging from climate change to food insecurity, adding that only democratic stability could help the continent in resolving its problems.

He reiterated that the problems of the continent are big and need to be fixed, including plastic pollution.

He said, “I hope and feel that you (Africa) can fix the problems and the problems are big. It’s climate change which leads to flooding, it is plastics pollution, it is food insecurity, it is the backsliding of democracy in the region.”

In a related development, the Ogun State government has solicited for partnership with the United States of America in developing the critical sectors of the state’s economy.

The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who stated this when he received the American Consul General in Nigeria, Will Stevens, who led a five-man delegation on a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta, on Wednesday, noted that the state considers the United States as a progressive partner in the areas of economy, good governance, security, climate change and human capital development around the world.

Governor Abiodun posited that the state apart from the sophistication of its people and their cognitive political culture, is unanimously and popularly adjudged as the New Jersey of Nigeria and the leading industrial hub in the West Africa sub-region, hence the need to tap from the American experience to further its developmental stride.

He said, “Through this concept, we have strategically transformed the state with modern infrastructure, deliberate policy steps to attract businesses and moving the economy from being federal allocation focused to becoming the state with the third largest internally generated revenue in the country.

“The state’s strategic location as the primary gateway to Lagos State – the largest market with the busiest ports in Nigeria has contributed to its status as the industrial hub of Nigeria.

“Our state is home to one of the largest industrial zones in sub-Saharan Africa, which includes the 8,000 hectares OPIC-owned Agbara Industrial Estate, which accommodates the Federal Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ), with forty-four operational companies, factory tenants from across the world, with over 6,000 Nigerian employees and an estimated 100,000 metric tons of freight moving in and out daily.”

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