Africa's biggest economy, boasting a gross domestic product (GDP) close to $400 billion, Nigeria "plays a central role in Brazil's engagement with Africa," Brazilian Chanceller Ernesto Araújo said Tuesday (Dec. 10) during his meeting with Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, in the capital city of Abuja.
In addition to Geoffrey Onyeama, Araújo met with the country's vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Nigeria was the third country in the minister's tour through countries in West Africa. Before Nigeria, he visited Cape Verde and Senegal. His next stop is Angola. Araújo is expected to return to Brazil on December 13.
Next to African leaders, the Brazilian diplomat pointed out that Brazil has sought to implement deals in such fields as security, defense, trade, and investment.
Araújo told Nigerian leaders that the three main pillars that must support cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil are: economy (trade and investment), defense, and security, plus the protection of human relations.
In the economic arena, the foreign minister mentioned the potential for cooperation in farming, with the development of technology to boost production without compromising the environment. He talked about the bilateral agricultural development program dubbed Green Imperative.
Green Imperative is an initiative by the Nigerian government in partnership with Brazil aiming to expand Nigera's agro-industrial in a sustainable manner by developing an integrated business plan including not only workforce training but also the introduction of a financial rationale and an increase in productivity through field modernization.
Expected to last ten years and budgeted at $1 billion, Green Imperative was designed by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV). The project will also be supported by Deutsche Bank and be benefited by guarantees granted by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
Efforts against terrorism
Regarding defense and security, Araújo mentioned the challenges facing both nations in their fight against terrorism and transnational wrongdoing in the South Atlantic.
He also talked about the 1st Seminar on Defense Industries, held yesterday at the Brazilian embassy in Abuja and attended by representatives from the top Brazilian companies in the sector.
As for culture and human relations, the chancellor mentioned the creation of the Guimaraes Rosa area in Brazil's embassy in Nigeria. He stressed the need for more transport connections between the two countries as a means to generate "more business and more ideas."
Araújo and Onyeama also agreed on the efforts Brazil and Nigeria must make to promote an overhaul at the United Nations (UN) and the system of international entities in all aspects-economic, political, environmental, etc-helping find answers to urgent questions in the contemporary world.
Ernesto Araújo concluded that the two countries have a wide and challenging agenda on the horizon. The chancellor said he wants more opportunities to be taken to the meeting of the Brazil-Nigeria Strategic Partnership, an assembly between the vice-presidents of both countries, slated to take place next March in Abuja.
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