Nigeria’s former Minister for Education, Oby Ezekwesili, speaks on Xenophobia in South Africa at the World Economic Forum (WEF).
During a special session, Oby explained that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) would not deliver on its promise if xenophobic attacks is not quickly resolved.
The Nigerian Government had pulled out its contingents to the forum in Cape Town, South Africa following xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in Pretoria.
She was on a panel to speak on the promise of Africa with Jim Ovia, billionaire businessman, who later on said he was pulling out of the summit.
“I think that there has to be a very distinct session for us to discuss the issues of our collaborations as Africans. The reality of what we saw in South Africa is too sordid for it to be a mere conversation by the way,” Ezekwesili said at her originally scheduled session.
“We cannot have AfCFTA where there is black on black violence in this country.”
She was eventually granted a special session, where she spoke extensively on tackling xenophobia on the continent.
At the session, she said: “I believe wholly that there are some important steps that the government of South Africa should be able to take immediately.
“In order to send a signal to the people that have been victims of what I call Afrophobia, it’s not xenophobia. I haven’t seen any Italian or European, I have not seen any Chinese or India being harmed, being maimed, being killed, losing property.
“I have seen a targeting of especially my country Nigeria. I have seen a lot of single-story where people are saying things like Nigerians engage in criminal activities in South Africa.
“I also know that is a single story. 18 percent of the people that teach in higher institutions in this country are Nigerians”.
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