Communique of the First Abuja Beijing Consensus Roundtable Held on May 16 2019 At the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The Abuja Beijing Consensus (ABC) Roundtable held today, May 16 2019 has been commended by participants as a worthy and timely forum, especially as the Convener and Founder of the LEADERSHIP Group explained that the aim is to craft a unique consensus and framework different from others, but a home grown strategy
The Roundtable also commended the Chinese Ambassador, Dr. Zhou Pingjian for his commitment to solidifying and strengthening Nigeria and China relations and particularly the commitment in seeing Nigeria’s proper integration into the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
We can summarize and place all the discussions/comments within the contexts of the famous statement of Chinese President Xi Jinpin at the BOAO Forum in Asia in 2018 when he said the BRI “it is, if anything, a plan in the sunshine” Sunshine means brightness which drives away darkness and guides or shows us the right path to follow instead of groping in the dark; sunshine means openness and transparency not done in a hidden manner nor BRI having any ulterior motives; sunshine has natural vitamins that are healthy and beneficial to all irrespective of culture and environment.
This explains the importance all discussants have made on the advantages and mutual benefits of BRI with respect to connectivity of people and culture, addressing infrastructural and energy deficit that we have in Africa and particularly Nigeria. These deficits critically affects industrialization. Moving us out of poverty like China has vowed to do for its people by 2020, we must focus on capacity building of our people for greater and more inclusive development for our shared future. The BRI plans to benefit all countries that have keyed into its vision.
The Roundtable noted that as a matter of principle, the decision of Chinese regarding the BRI as strategy of implementing FOCAC goals is hinged on the fact that in the global world, the success and progress of China is intrinsically tied to the progress of other member nations. The Forum also noted that the secret to Chinese success lies in two keywords – their known and sustained COMMITMENT and DISCIPLINE. It also noted that Nigeria has not done much to address poverty and unemployment, hence we must have the political will to do the talk.
What emerged from the Roundtable include
- General consensus and acknowledgement that there is brighter future for China-Nigeria cooperation with high prospects for win-win cooperation
- Nigeria must show positive attitude in sustaining and strengthening China-Nigeria relationship. This will require mechanisms for sustained commitment and discipline. In other words, a massive cultural and attitudinal reorientation is needed.
- This Roundtable must not be the last, but sustained so as to encourage Nigeria to have developmental plans that will guide as roadmap for development in line with AU Agenda 2063
- While there exist the Africa China think tanks, we must similarly have in place a Nigeria-China Think Tank Forum or body of intellectuals that will continuously articulate policies and plans that will properly integrate Nigeria into BRI for desired progress and development.
- The Nigeria government must come out with policies that are robust enough concerning our ability to own the process of every project we engage within BRI.