Buhari-Trump Meeting: 7 Areas to Explore

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Monday, April 30, 2018 9.20AM / Proshare WebTV   

As President Donald Trump of the United States of America and leader of the globe’s leading democracy, plays host to President Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria, and leader of Africa's largest democracy today, a lot is at stake while opportunities abound for both nations. 

Despite the 'America First Stance' of President Trump, in the 21st century nations have come to the realization that isolationism is not tenable. 

The United States and Nigeria have enjoyed a long standing relationship that has endured decades, and this meeting of the two leaders opens a new chapter for strengthening the alliance & fostering trade. 

There are a lot of expectations on what should be discussed, but in this article we highlight 7 areas that should be explored; 

Economic Diplomacy
 
Recently Nigeria launched the National Economic Diplomacy Initiative(NEDI), which is geared towards repositioning Nigeria's missions across the globe as centres of economic relations, as well as engaging the diaspora. 

President Buhari as the chief marketing officer of the nation, will have the platform to share with his American counterpart, the immense opportunities for investments in Nigeria.  

This must go beyond Oil & Gas into areas like reviewing how Nigeria is benefitting from the African Growth Opportunity Act(AGOA), developed by the United States. 

If there is an opportunity for an engagement with the Nigerian Diaspora in the United States, it will be President Buhari's call to pitch Nigeria. 

At a time of Global liquidity glut, economist Dr Ayo Teriba believes Nigeria must utilize foreign engagements to attract foreign direct investments. 

If there is any opportunity for driving FDI, America is one nation Nigeria must court for real  investments. 

Strengthening US-Nigeria Bi-Lateral Relations 
This will cover strengthening the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission which will coordinated diplomatic activities between both countries, covering trade and other areas. 

Former Secretary of States of the United States of America Mr Rex Tillerson in his visit to Nigeria and some select African nations, echoed concerns of Africa's relationship with an emerging superpower from Asia. 

It is on this basis that Nigeria must re-evaluate it's relations with the U.S going for what brings  value to the nation. 

Technology Collaboration
 
With the Fourth Industrial revolution driven by digital technology taking shape, Nigeria stands to gain a lot partnering with the United States, especially on the back of a strong youth population. 

Through the prowess of Silicon Valley, home to key tech firms like  Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, Nigeria can partner with the United States, to boost areas like Fintech, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence amongst others. 

Key American Tech Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Firms can invest more in budding Tech hubs in Nigeria, from Yaba, Abuja to even Calabar. 

Partnership on Counter-Terrorism & Intelligence  
If there is any area Nigeria needs immediate assistance, it is in the area of military intelligence and counter-terrorism. 

America
remains the  global super-power in military intelligence, and one expectation from President Buhari's visit is that beyond the purchase of military hardware, there will be solid military partnership to curb the spate of insurgency and spare of killings in the North-Central and North-East regions of the nation. 

This should also cover more training and exposure for Nigerian military officers on tackling guerilla
warfare better off  and terrorism. 

It should also include intelligence sharing between United States of America and Nigeria.
 

Infrastructure
Both Presidents Donald Trump and Muhammadu Buhari are giving priority to infrastructure.The three Nigerian budgets 2016, 2017 and 2018 have 30% allocation to capital expenditure. 

For President
Trump  the $1trn Infrastructure plan is key to repositioning America's economy. 

With their understanding of the value of infrastructure, President Buhari should use his visit to White House to make a case for attracting more key investments/partnerships with the U.S on infrastructure.

The recent Rail concession agreement between the Ministry of Transportation
of Nigeria and General Electric is a good development. 

We expect more to cover areas like Power and this is key considering the opportunities Nigeria has in accessing the "Power Africa" initiative set up by the Obama Administration.
 

Moreover driving infrastructure indirectly has a strong multiplier effect on creating social opportunities, job creation and eventually reducing the spate of terrorism. 
 

Healthcare and Education
In the area of healthcare, President Buhari's visit to the U.S should open up a new chapter for strategic parrnerships on improving healthcare in the country, especially “Primary Healthcare”. 

Areas of interests should include investments in primary health care in Nigeria, collaborations between the US and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Medical research and improving Infrastructure with provision of up to date equipments for major hospitals in Nigeria.
 

In the area of education, there is an opportunity for increased
collaborations like exchange programmes between the IVY league Universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, MIT with Nigerian Universities in the areas of research. 

Partnership on Tackling Piracy in Entertainment 
 
The United States and America and Nigeria boasts of the leading movie industries in the globe namely Hollywood and Nollywood. 

Both nations also have remarkable and thriving music
, comedy and creative art industries. 

Nigeria will need technical
assistance from the United States on how best to tackle  piracy and market Nigerian content on the global stage. This is  one area that President Buhari can discuss with President Trump. 

America has a robust infrastructure and system for tackling piracy that Nigeria can learn from, at the same time providing content partnership to Nigeria
.
 

Conclusion
In all we expect a fruitful conversation between President Buhari and his American counterpart President Trump. 

This is a great opportunity to take the US-Nigeria relations to the next level, which should be based on more partnership.
 

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

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