The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has advised Nigerians youths to believe in themselves so as to achieve great things and lift the nation out of the current deplorable state. President Macron who is on a two day visit to Nigeria made this charge while interacting with some Nigerians and beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu foundation in Lagos.
President Macron who during his official visit to the Country also commissioned the Alliance Francais office in Ikoyi, charged Nigerians to change the narrative about the African continent as no nation will do that for them. According to him “Africa has some new leaders, the young people. Africa has some new leaders arriving to change and reframe the whole continent. But Africa is young. Young in the sense that two third of the population is under 35… and this young people, this new generation has a lot of responsibilities and opportunities to build. And what I want to build with you is this new narrative dimension. It is obviously to work from a political point of view and also security and defense issues which are absolutely critical to Africa but as well to build through entrepreneurship, economy, digital, culture, sport and yesterday at the shrine was exactly foe the same reason”
“A new narrative is to be built now and ideally, it is your responsibility and it is good for Africa and it is good for France because if African doesn’t succeed, France and Europe will never succeed on the long run”.
He further promised to support the youths towards achieving the desired objectives even as he admonished the youths to be innovative and take charge of Africa’s future. “Nobody has to decide for our future, we are the ones to decide. Nobody has to lecture us, which means that we have to take our responsibilities, think about the legacy, the sustainability of our deeds and how we should develop our countries”
“This new narrative is to say Africa is the one to decide for Africa to exp[lain about Africa and to create its own model of entrepreneurship with its own culture and to explain it to the rest of the world and not to just to be part of the globalization”
President Macron had earlier visited the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja where he emphasized the need for the country to ensure security of lives and properties. He decried the rise in insurgency in the African continent and assured the president of the readiness of France to assist in curbing insecurity in the land. However, he noted that the bulk of the challenges are to be addressed by the nation itself. According to him, no nation would fix Nigeria’s problem for her. “I think the main plan is an African plan and France is not the one to solve or fix African situations”.
President Macron had on Tuesday, in a development of huge significance, visited the Afrika Shrine, where he was feted with performances by several artistes. Highlight of which was the presentation of his own portrait by an eleven year old Kareem Olamilekan who drew the portrait within two hours. The Lagos state government through Governor Ambode, also presented to him a painting of Fela.
Report by Victor Alagogooko for IbadanCity Announcer