By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on an official trip to Niamey, the Republic of Niger to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The President in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, will depart Abuja on Thursday, November 24, 2022.

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According to the statement, the President will also attend the launching of French version of the Book entitled ‘‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’’, as well as inaugurate the ‘Muhammadu Buhari Boulevard’, named after him by the Government of the Republic of Niger.

It said, “The naming of the Boulevard and launch of the French version of the Book, written by John Paden, a Professor of International Studies at George Mason University, northern Virginia, United States, on Thursday precedes the AU Summit on Friday, November 25, 2022.

“President Buhari is expected to deliver his National Statement at the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, meeting under the theme “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification.”

“The High-Level Summit, being convened as part of the Africa Industrialization Week annual commemorative activities, is expected to adopt a Declaration, highlighting the importance of industrialization and economic transformation in the continent and how to make progress in that regard.

“The 20th of every November is commemorated as the Africa Industrialization Day, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in July 1989, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.”

Meanwhile, the Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area as well launch additional operation tools.

Nigeria has continued to demonstrate a high level of commitment toward the full operationalization of a pan-African free trade area that will create a single market for goods and services, liberalise and facilitate the movement of investment and business people across the continent.

On July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary session of the Assembly and launch of the operational phase of the trade deal.

The country ratified its membership of the AfCFTA on November 11, 2020.

President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Major-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd) and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President will return to the country on Friday, November 25.

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