By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Calabar: Governor Ben Ayade has expressed angst against the low turnout of Mayors in the African continent for the World Mayors – African Region conference in Calabar ascribing it to the mentality Africans have come to be associated with.
Ayade made known his frustrations when a delegation of Mayors led by the Chairman of the World Mayors African Region, Ambassador Eyo Asuquo paid him a courtesy call in his office Tuesday in Calabar where he called on a change of attitude from Africans.
“If we had made the venue of this conference in London, we will have had more African countries participating” Ayade said regretting that out of over 50 countries in the African continent, only Burundi, Congo Brazaville, South Africa and Nigeria had representatives in attendance.
Continuing, the governor added that; “It is sad that Africans don’t believe in Africa and you need to push them beyond the boundaries of Africa before they appreciate what you are doing”, adding that; “It is a wake up call for Africans to start thinking Africa.”
Ayade lamented a situation where the black skin no longer represented a color but an attitude that depicts laziness, as Africa has become a crying child because due to the attitude of her leaders and called for a change of behavior to make the next edition of the event bigger and better.
Earlier, Ambassador Asuquo said the Mayors were in Calabar to add value to what the governor was doing which he described as “Fantastic”.
Asuquo said the conference was the first of its nature and will be focused on actions and not just talking. He said that: “This is the first time but, it is not just a talk shop as we will be talking about so many things that are close to your heart. Things like climate change, things like creating jobs for our teeming youths and things like ICT. We want to use ICT for job creation.”
Continuing, Asuquo said that “The conference is women and youth friendly. We should not think only about solid commodities. The conference focus is on Agriculture, Solid Minerals, Tourism and the manufacturing sector.”
The conference which was originally scheduled for May 23 – 27, 2016 was later shifted to September, 5 – 9 2016 with the theme: “Global Partnership For Economic Growth And Development In Africa; Exploring Options For Diversification In African Economies” holding at the Calabar International Convention Centre.
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