By John Ikani
Having reviewed most of the major stories from the past week, both locally and on the foreign scene, here are top quotes that tend to paint a vivid picture of what pressures the world is facing and perhaps give us a hint of some things we must expect in the coming days.
1. “Our Africa policy is about Africa not about China. Too often, international infrastructure deals are opaque, coercive, burden countries with unmanageable debt, are environmentally destructive, and don’t always benefit the people who actually live there. The US is going to do things differently”
– US Secretary of State Antony Bliken taking a swipe at China’s model of growing Chinese influence in Africa, a strategy that threatens US interests in the continent.
2. “They have pressured the banks to stop funding hydrocarbon projects, very soon, they will pressure all the technology companies to stop developing tools required for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon if Africa doesn’t wake up.”
– Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote stressing the need for Africa not to be swayed into abandoning her natural endowments because of the emotions and sentiments around energy transition. Among key areas of focus, he urges African nations to take advantage of the collaboratory platform provided by AfCFTA to provide funding and the technology required to operate and develop hydrocarbon projects.
3. “Liverpool attack was a stark reminder of the need for us all to remain utterly vigilant. The British people will never be cowed by terrorism. We will never give in to those who seek to divide us with senseless acts.”
– Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the latest terrorist attack that saw the UK raise its terror threat level from substantial to severe.
4. “While the world has agreed to accelerate the energy transition, it is still heavily reliant on oil and gas. As economies bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic at the fastest rate in 50 years, demand has outpaced supply. The future is coming, but it is not here yet. We must make progress with pragmatism. If we are to successfully transition to the energy system of tomorrow, we cannot simply unplug from the energy system of today.”
– UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sultan al-Jaber stressing that the world still needs to invest billions in oil and gas despite heightened calls for energy transition to combat climate change.
5. “We cannot bury our heads in the sand and hope these concerns will go away. We need to take action, and the first step is to solicit the views of young Nigerians, listen closely and allow their concerns and ideas to influence our policy decisions.”
– UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins commenting on reports that one in every 6 children in Nigeria is depressed, a development which the findings say raises concerns over the future of Nigerian children, adding that the mental health of kids in Nigeria is under threat.
6. “We can longer have a situation where the resources of Africa provide employment and add value in other economies, while so many of our people live in poverty and conditions of under-development. By promoting trade between African countries we are strengthening the continent’s industrial base and ensuring that we produce goods for ourselves and each other.”
– South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa stressing the need for Africa to end the economic storyline of colonialism by taking concrete steps towards writing her own economic success story through opening up new fields of opportunity.
7. “We want to thank you for the opportunity given to visit your infrastructure because we realise that for e-government to effectively take place in a country and go operational, we need infrastructure and the people to help train their decision-makers to have interest in e-government.”
– Ms Mejand, an official of Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Service and Administration, soliciting Nigeria’s help to help develop the francophone country’s e-government structure, stressing that Cameroon has a plan around e-government but lacks coordination and exposure.