Public lecture: US-African Relations by Ambassador Tibor Nagy, United States Secretary for African Affairs
A more inspiring 2hours was never seen as the one we enjoyed on campus today with His Excellency, Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy.
In the words of the Pro chancellor, “It is not every day we are honored in this way, this is going down in our history.” We thank you once again for choosing to speak to us and answer questions of the staff, students and friends of the university.
The vice-chancellor, Professor Tahir Mamman SAN, OON warmly welcomed all and thanked our guest of honor Amb. Tibor P. Nagy, the Assistant Secretary of State for US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs for gracing the University with his esteemed presence and for choosing Baze University as a platform for a briefing on US-Africa Policy.
Prof. Tahir spoke on the age long standing friendly and mutually beneficial economic between the US and Nigeria since 1960. The two countries have both cooperated domestically and internationally on a variety of projects and Baze University has adopted this and enjoys a healthy, active relationship with the embassy and as thus have benefited greatly.
Recently, Baze University law clinic is involved in providing free legal services and access to justice education to the less privileged and is receiving support from the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs through the network of Universities Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) on reforming pre-trial detention in Kuje Prison.
He went on to personally appreciate the opportunity to visit the U.S.A on the U.S sponsored popular and prestigious international visitors’ programme in 2007 while hoping that such opportunities will be made available for Baze University, Prof Mamman welcomed to His Excellency to the podium.
Ambassador Tibor acknowledged that he has always been very impressed with Nigeria’s human resources as seen in our wealth of smart, talented youths using the story of Amal Hassan, a technopreneur and CEO of outsource global from Kano state who was honored last year by the U.S. state department and Fortune Magazine as one of 16 female global business leaders to join the Women’s Mentoring Partnership.
The Secretary outlined the four major U.S policies, which includes:
I. Stronger trade and business ties between Africa and America. He explained that this can be better achieved by African governments increasing transparency and fairness in their respective commercial environments to attract more business.
II. Second, harnessing the potential of Africa’s tremendous youth population to drive Africa’s economic growth and create real prosperity. The Ambassador enthused that in his career as a diplomat and as an academia, he had numerous opportunities to interact with young Nigerians and “they were some of the brightest and most talented students I have met anywhere”. So he posed this question, “How do we harness that talent and entrepreneurial spirit of young Africans as a force for prosperity and stability?”
III. Third, it is critical that we strengthen our partnership to advance peace and security across the continent by supporting regional mechanisms like ECOWAS and through our security and development partnerships with African governments.
IV. Fourth, I am here today to reinforce that America has an unwavering commitment to Africa. Our relationship has evolved over decades to one of cooperation, mutual respect and transparency.
Perhaps nowhere is the strength and breadth of the U.S.-African partnership more evident than here in Nigeria.
All these and many more were delivered and our eager minds soaked up like dry sponge, and in a bid to outdo one another, thought stimulating questions were posed such as:
a) How much of an impact will the current administration foreign aid cut have on current US-Nigeria initiatives?
b) What do you think of the humanitarian efforts in the North east of Nigeria? What is the US doing to facilitate in this area?
c) How will the current administrations foreign aid help the economic and overall stability in African countries to reduce the issue of mass immigration? This was considered to win as the question of the day.
At this point, the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W.
Stuart Symington stepped in to help the Assistant Secretary of State to answer
the questions satisfactorily. At which point our Pro-chancellor came up to the
podium to express his heartfelt gratitude on behalf of us all at Baze