The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called for the constriction of an economic bridge to link Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to unlock potentials in the two countries for the development of Africa.
The AfDB President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina made the call when he hosted DRC’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, at a breakfast meeting with Nigerian investors in Abuja on Saturday.
Adesina said there was need for an effective bridge between Nigeria and DRC because they are the largest counties on the continent in terms of population.
According to Adesina, “I want Nigeria to build an effective investment bridge with DRC because if you unlock DRC’s potentials, plus Nigeria’s own, Africa will develop.
Adesina noted that DRC like Nigeria is blessed with natural resources in large quantities. While marketing DRC to Nigerian investors, Adesina pointed out that DRC has huge amount of gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, oil among others adding that the country accounts for 50 per cent of global supply of cobalt.
He said energy and agriculture were areas Nigerian investors could explore because of the enormous potentials in these sectors.
According to him, there is massive hydro power project which is known as Ginga with potential of 100,000 mega wats.
The AfDB and Nigeria he said “will help DRC to unlock these potentials in this energy project, we need investors that will go there to explore. In agriculture, DRC is a country of 80 million people and they also have 80 million hectares of land for agriculture and this area also need investors”.
In his remarks, the DRC President Mr. Felix Tshisekedi pledged to collaborate with Nigeria to facilitate and ensure smooth trade between the two countries.
He said a lot of Nigerians were currently in his country plying their different trades without any hinderance. The president urged African countries to be united and he frowned at ethnic and tribal conflicts in some countries which he described as unnecessary
Tshisekedi said his country had potentials in agriculture because it had vast and fertile land as it had all year round rainfall.
He lamented that out of 80 million hectares of arable land, not 10 per cent of it had so far been utilised. DRC he said has the potential to feed one billion people giving its massive arable land.
He then called on his “African brothers to come and invest in Agriculture and energy and this will help us to invest in our youth,” he said.