President Jonathan To Attend AU Summit In Equatorial Guinea

Source: THEWILL. -

ABUJA, June 28, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will leave for Malabo, Equatorial Guinea early hours of Wednesday to attend the 17th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), scheduled to take place in that country from 30 June - 1 July 2011.

At this year’s AU summit, African leaders will deliberate on the theme, “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development,” with the aim of providing better environment and skills for African youths to excel, and contribute meaningfully to peace and security, socio-economic growth and sustainable development on the continent.

During the Summit, the assembly of Heads of State and Government is expected to ratify and adopt the Decisions and Recommendations of the AU Executive Council of Ministers as well as the Declarations of the Summit.

On arrival in Malabo Wednesday, President Jonathan will participate at the NEPAD Heads of State and Government meeting as well as the African Peer Review Forum. He will also meet same day with the Nigerian Community in Malabo.

Newly appointed Nigerian Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, Mr. Gregory Okon, said members of the Nigerian Community in Malabo are anxious to welcome President Jonathan as the first democratically elected Nigerian President to visit Equatorial Guinea. He said elaborate arrangements are in place to give President Jonathan a warm reception on arrival in Malabo.

According to him, about 4,000 Nigerians made up of mostly businessmen reside in Equatorial Guinea, which is the only Spanish speaking country in Africa with a population of about 676,000 people.

Okon said Equatorial Guinea is attracted to Nigeria’s banking, agriculture, oil and gas, solid minerals, and tourism sectors, as the potentials of these sectors are yet to be fully exploited in that country.

Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, both rich in oil and gas, are members of the Gulf of Guinea Commission. Despite a bilateral air agreement between the two countries in March last year, the aviation sectors of both countries have not exploited the advantage of the BASA agreement as direct flights are yet to commence.