The has called for strong economic ties between Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to unlock potential in both countries to boost Africa’s development.
The AfDB President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, made the call when he hosted DRC’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, at a breakfast meeting with Nigerian investors in Abuja on Saturday.
Adesina said there was the need for effective bridge between Nigeria and the DRC as they were the largest countries on the continent in terms of population:
“I want Nigeria to build an effective investment bridge with DRC because if you unlock DRC’s potential, plus Nigeria’s own, Africa will develop.
“Mr President, our investors are here with you. I am a Nigerian. I know them and proud of them and also proud of you too.”
Adesina said the DRC was blessed with natural resources like Nigeria, adding that Congo had huge potential like gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, and oil, among others.
The country accounted for about 50 percent of global supply of cobalt.
He said energy and agriculture were great areas Nigerian investors could explore because of enormous potential in these sectors.
According to him, there is massive hydro power project which is known as Ginga with potential of 100,000 megawatts:
“We will help DRC to unlock its potential in this energy project, we need investors that will go there to explore.
“In agriculture, DRC is a country of 80 million people and they also have 80 million hectares of land for agriculture and this area also need investors.”
In his remarks, Tshisekedi of the DRC pledged to collaborate with Nigeria to facilitate and ensure smooth trade between the two countries.
He said that a lot of Nigerians were presently residing in his counties and embarking on different trades without any hindrance.
According to him, his country has potential in agriculture due to its vast and fertile land and all year round rainfall.
Out of 80 million hectares of arable land, it was yet to utilize 10 percent of it.
“The DRC has potential to feed one billion people with massive arable land the country is blessed with.
“I am calling my African brothers to come and invest in agriculture and energy and this will help us to invest in our youth,” he said.
The DRC’s President urged African countries to be united, while frowning at ethnic and tribal conflicts, which he described as unnecessary, in some countries.
Amaka E. Nliam