Former Canadian Secretary of State and Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Hon Gerry Weiner, has put forward a joint initiative between Nigeria and Canada aimed at achieving food security and sustainable economic development, with the potential to benefit other African nations as well.

During a virtual engagement with the Journalists International Forum For Migration-JIFORM, Gerry, now serving as the Executive Director of Global Relations Partnership and Customer Satisfaction at APS Canada Startup Visa, outlined this proposal. The discussion occurred in anticipation of the upcoming 4th Global Migration Summit organized by JIFORM, scheduled to be held in Toronto from October 2-14. The summit’s focal points include Climate Change, Human Mobility, and Sustainable Investment.

Gerry urged developed countries to take a cue from Canada’s inclusive migration approach, underlining that contemporary challenges in human mobility are rooted in global economic inequalities between the Global North and South, exacerbating gaps in poverty.

As part of his ongoing commitment, the 90-year-old former minister expressed his dedication to fostering collaboration between Nigerian and Canadian companies. This partnership seeks to conduct comprehensive research on the agro-food sector in Nigeria and other African countries. The objective is to identify challenges, opportunities, and potential partners, encompassing universities, research institutions, NGOs, and governmental bodies operating in this field within both Canada and Africa.

Leveraging his extensive experience on the continent, Gerry underscored Africa’s untapped potential to enhance living standards. He highlighted the paradox of Canada’s food surplus in contrast to the prevalence of hunger in Africa and the widespread lack of clean water.

In addressing President Bola Tinubu’s economic strategies, Gerry emphasized the significance of Canada and other major economies supporting Nigeria through a well-structured economic framework that could yield benefits for the entire African region.

Gerry’s proposal entails Nigeria adopting Canada’s roadmap for agro-food production and technologies. He suggested that international development organizations and impact investors could fund the initiative, motivating Canadian investors to engage in African agro-food startups. This endeavor would ultimately empower local communities, promoting self-sufficiency by facilitating technology transfer and knowledge exchange. Workshops, webinars, and training sessions would play a pivotal role in adapting these technologies to suit local agricultural and environmental contexts.

Established in 2019, the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) is a global media network with over 300 journalists and volunteers dedicated to migration-related subjects. The 4th JIFORM summit, hosted by Abedorc Productions Inc in Toronto, will feature speakers from diverse countries, with Gerry taking on a prominent role.

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