By Ajibola Abayomi
The former Secretary of State and Minister of Immigration and Citizenship in Canada, Hon Gerry Weiner has suggested a pact between Nigeria and Canada towards achieving food security and economic sustainability that would rob-off other African nations.
Gerry, now the Executive Director, Global Relations Partnership and Customers Satisfaction, APS, Canada Startup Visa shared the roadmap on this during a virtual engagement with the members of the Journalists International Forum For Migration-JIFORM ahead of the body’s 4th Global Migration summit slated for Toronto between October 2-14 focusing on Climate Change, Human Mobility and Sustainable Investment.
He urged other advanced nations to copy the friendly migration model of Canada, noting that the challenges confronting human mobility in recent times could be traced to the imbalance of the global economic progression between the Global North and South that had widening the poverty net between the rich and the poor countries.
As part of his legacy efforts, the former minister who had clocked 90 years, said he was willing to facilitate partnership between Nigeria and Canadian companies to“conduct thorough research on the Agro food sector in Nigeria and other African countries to understand the specific challenges and opportunities and also identify potential partners, both in Canada and Africa, such as universities, research institutions, NGOs, and government bodies, that are already working in this space.”
He said with his several years of experience on the continent, he observed that Africa has enormous potentials that could be fine tuned to enhance the standard of living of her people. “Canada is one of the countries with food surplus while half of Africa goes to sleep hungry every night. We have 10 percent of the world’s freshwater supply but half of Africans may be drinking contaminated water. What a world without conscience” he lamented.
X-raying what he tagged tough economic decisions taken by President Bola Tinubu geared towards economic recovery; he said there was a need for Canada and other top economies to back Nigeria with a structured positive economic blueprint that would impact on Africa.
According to him, if a roadmap on Agro-food production and technologies from Canada could be adopted by the Nigerian government, the project could be funded by international development organizations, impact investors, with grants to support the initiatives that would encourage Canadian investors to explore opportunities in Agro food startups in Africa to foster self-sufficiency by empowering local communities to independently operate and maintain the technologies especially in Nigeria.
These, he said, would lead to collaborations with Canadian companies willing to share their technologies and expertise, facilitate knowledge exchange and technology transfer by organizing workshops, webinars, and training sessions to ensure that the technologies being transferred are adapted to suit the local agricultural and environmental conditions in Nigeria and in many African nations.
The JIFORM is an international media network founded in 2019 with over 300 journalists and other volunteers focusing on migration across the continents. It has been facilitating the annual international migration summit.
The 4th JIFORM summit to be hosted by the Abedorc Productions Inc, Toronto is slated for Belmont Event Space at Etobicoke, Toronto Canada with arrays of speakers from other countries to be led by Gerry.