African ambassadors celebrate outgoing Nigeria’s ambassador to Cuba

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By Cecilia Ologunagba

The African Group of Ambassadors have celebrated the outgoing ambassador of Nigeria to Cuba, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen.

A statement from Embassy of Nigeria, Havana, Cuba, on Monday, said the reception was organised in honour of Okoyen on Friday to bid him farewell.

The Embassy of Nigeria in Havana is concurrently accredited to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Republic of Honduras and Republic of Nicaragua.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okoyen had concluded his tour of duty on Oct. 31 in compliance with Federal Government’s directive.

The Dean of the African Diplomatic Group and Ambassador of Djibouti to Cuba, Mr Nasser Mohammed Ousbo, thanked Okoyen for his foresight and expressed the readiness of the Group to implement tahe recommendations he presented for 2024.

The Dean further lamented that Ambassador Okoyen’s departure from Cuba would create a big vacuum not only for the African Group but the entire diplomatic community.

Ousbo hoped that Ambassador Okoyen’s services would be well utilised by his country in his next assignment.

Okoyen, who thanked the group for organising the lunch in his honour, presented a written concept note addressed to the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps.

The concept note is to stimulate a diplomatic panel discussion among the African group of Ambassadors in Cuba on the pathway to African economic development in the face of the current global uncertainty.

Okoyen, in the proposal, called for a panel discussion on “African Economic Development: Diplomatic perspective.”

Okoyen’s proposal is to promote knowledge-based dialogue for exchange of ideas among the Ambassadors and encourage the African Group to stimulate discussion on policy issues on Africa in the context of diplomacy for the African economic development.

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The proposal contained detail objectives, expected outcomes, panel agenda and proposed nomination for ambassadors to serve as key panel discussants representing the five regions of the African continent.

The proposal is an invitation to use the instrumentality of diplomacy to produce an outcome document that should positively contribute to supporting African leaders in making decisions towards the African economic development.

Okoyen raised pertinent questions as to why economic development in Africa is being delayed despite the economic growth potential of the continent.

He noted that many also believed that some of the development models proposed by the western world/International organisations, for Africa has led to economic distress, frustrations and stagnation, resulting to internal conflicts and wars in several countries.

Since the usual temptation to blame African leaders for the problems of African underdevelopment has not been helpful, Okoyen asked African diplomatic group to play a major role in solving the African Economic problem.

Africa, he believes, is intellectually endowed with people, and the required natural resources to lead the pathway to economic development.

Okoyen who had presented similar proposals to the group in the past served as the African Diplomatic Corps Treasurer. (NAN) (

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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