By James Eze
Conversations are currently going on between the Government of Anambra State and the Republic of South Africa on the possibilities of opening a Consular Office in Awka, Anambra State to facilitate bilateral relations and strengthen existing economic ties between South Africa and Anambra State.
Speaking during a luncheon at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia on Tuesday, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Bobby Moroe observed that it had become necessary to bring the country’s consular services closer to where it was needed most since over 800,000 Nigerians who live in South Africa were from the South East of Nigeria.
High Commissioner Moroe also spoke strongly about forging stronger ties between South Africa and Anambra State through an exchange programme that would eventually see 50 South African youths visiting Anambra and 50 Anambra youths visiting South Africa to lend more depth to the understanding of cultural and social ethos between the two entities.
Praising Governor Obiano for assembling a great team to drive his vision of governance, High Commissioner Moroe said, “We are quite impressed with the energy and the verve that we have seen in Anambra State. You have a very fantastic team of young men and women who know exactly what they are doing. They have the drive, they have the vision, they have the technical expertise and they know what you want.”
According to him, South Africa has decided that the time had come to explore the possibilities of taking its relationship with Anambra State further than where it was. Hear him: “We have visited a number of places. The first place we visited was the hotel that belongs to the state. We were quite surprised at the state-of-the-art hotel that we have seen in the Golden Tulip. It looks like a privately owned hotel. You know that South Africa has expertise in hospitality.
Praising Ndi Anambra as hardworking people, Moroe said “We come to Anambra with great humility, recognizing the hard-working nature of the people of Anambra, recognizing the fact that Anambra is not resourceless. It is resourceful. That is why we are here.”
Speaking further, Moroe revealed that he had also visited JOSAN Integrated Rice Farms and Mills in Ufuma, Orumba South Local Government Area of the state. “We visited JOSAN Rice Farm owned by Chief Okeke. During our visit to JOSAN Farms, we emphasized that we can look at small scale farmers and we were impressed with the model that JOSAN has in place.
That’s a very typical example of what we are looking for. You might call them “low hanging fruits.” These are some of the impactful projects that we are looking at; the projects that will benefit the young men and women of Anambra. A 25-year old man who is into farming in the village of Abacha. A young woman who is into IT and and wants to explore technology that will assist the agricultural sector. That is what the focus needs to be,” he explained.
Assuring of the readiness of his country to assist Anambra’s giant strides in Agriculture, High Commissioner Moroe said he would look into the request for intervention in the provision of irrigation facilities as well as modern fish farming techniques and facilities from the Cape Province.
Earlier in a closed door meeting, Governor Obiano had requested for a collaboration and partnership in so many areas including culture and tourism, hospitality and leisure, agriculture, trade and commerce and oil and gas.
Responding to Governor Obiano’s request for a dedicated channel for Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) Television on Multichoice’s DSTV platform, High Commissioner Moroe assured that very soon, ABS would be on DSTV.
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