François HOLLANDE, President of the French Republic, came to Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the invitation of President Goodluck Ebele JONATHAN, on 27 February 2014. He was the guest of honor at the ceremony of the Centenary of the Amalgamation and also participated in the Franco-Nigerian economic meeting and the conference "Human Security, Peace and Development : Agenda for 21st Century Africa".
Discover the vidéo footage about this official visit on the French Presidency web site (in French).
These ceremonies commemorate the decision made on 1 January 1914 by English colonial Governor Lord Lugard to merge the two separate protectorates, so far managed by the British Crown, in the territory of present-day Nigeria. This English decision unified for the first time very different and distinct political spaces and populations, and is regarded as the true birth of modern Nigeria.
President Holland was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, Chief of the President personnal military staff, General Puga and Lionel Zinsou, president of the Investment Fund PAI Partners, responsible for the foreshadowing of the African French Fondation for Growth.
|CONFERENCE FOR "HUMAN SECURITY, PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT, AGENDA FOR 21ST CENTURY AFRICA "|
More than forty African delegations, two-thirds the level of heads of state or prime minister (especially for ECOWAS countries) attended this conference, as Mr Barroso of European Union and Mrs Zuma of African Union.
In French :
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- Discours du Président de la République française
|THE FRANCO-NIGERIAN ECONOMIC FORUM|
“Who is not in Nigeria is not in Africa”
This forum has allowed French and Nigerian businessmen to exchange between themselves and with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Mr Aganga, and the Finance Minister Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, who followed all the meeting.
The president stressed the desire of France to see the Franco-Nigerian relationship boost and diversify, and move from the bygone era of "trade’’ to that of ’’international industrial partnerships’’ . He also mentioned the availability of France to host the Nigerian investors, recalling in this context the decisions he announced on the occasion of the recent meeting of the Council of attractiveness (read article -in French- ...).
The speech of the President of the French Republic at the Economic Forum (in French):
Companies Total, Lafarge, Schneider Electric, Air France-KLM, Alstom, Thales, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Bouygues, Dassault Aviation, Ponticelli, Bourbon International, Bolloré, Saint-Gobain and SMEs Vergnet Ecocéane attended the Forum. Mr. Lionel Zinsou, Chairman of PAI Partners Investment Fund, in charge of foreshadowing of the Franco-African Foundation for Growth, represented the Minister of Economy and Finance, and participated in the entire event.
Three bilateral agreements were signed
A) Signing of an agreement of soft loan funding of $170M between AFD and Nigeria.
AFD was represented by Mr. Claude Périou, CEO of Proparco and Nigeria by Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance. The project concerns the construction of high voltage power lines and substations that will connect Abuja with electrical distribution network.
B) Signature of a Memorandum of Agreement between Vergnet Company and Osun State.
The agreement is about the building of a solar power plant in a rural local government of Osun State. This is a €30M project, which could be eligible for a soft loan financing from the French Minstry of Finance, subject to registration in Nigeria’s Borrowing Plan. The planned capacity of the solar power plant is 10 to 14 megawatts.
C) Establishment of a joint committee to increase trade and investment.
Mr. Lionel Zinsou and Minister Aganga signed an agreement to establish a joint committee to increase trade and investment. This agreement gives particular objective of a 50% increase of the bilateral trade in the coming years.
On the occasion of the visit of the French President and on his behalf, a statuette Nok was handed over to the Nigerian Federation by Ambassador Jacques Champagne Labriolle. This statuette was stolen in Benin, but seized by French Customs on its way to Spain (lire l’article ...)
|President Holland and his delegation attended at the National Stadium Abuja a spectacular multimedia show dedicated to the history and unity of Nigeria. The French president was again the guest of honor.|
Great show if there ever was (lasers and video effects, water jets, lights and sounds, songs, danced by dozens of actors short scenes, fireworks, etc..), This series of thoughtfully designed and well directed scenes was carried out by a French specialized company, eca2.
Click on the slideshow to see bigger size pictures