27th October, 2010
Ahead of the planned two-day maiden edition of the Kuramo Conference in Lagos, theÂ State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Tuesday set the agenda for theÂ conference, saying Africa must be in the process to define what legal order willÂ define the present century.
The Kuramo Conference is a biennial international summit of multi-disciplinaryÂ experts and knowledge vendors drawn from business, finance, energy and theÂ environment. It is being organised by the Lagos State Government in collaborationÂ with the private sector.
Governor Fashola, who answered questions from newsmen at the Murtala MohammedÂ International Airport, Ikeja on arrival from Abuja, said the time has come for theÂ African continent to have a voice in the global decision-making process, adding thatÂ Africa could not afford to stay behind while laws were being made that would affectÂ the continent.
Pointing out that many of the regulations being applied today to regulateÂ international business and commerce were devised some 70 to 80 years ago byÂ Europeans, Governor Fashola declared, â€œNow we are in a new century, a new legalÂ order is necessary. There are new challenges now that laws made 70 to 80 years agoÂ cannot cope with. Now are we going to stand back again and allow those laws to beÂ made then we follow them?
â€œThe truth is that in the global comity of nations, when important decisions areÂ about to be taken, for example, the aftermath of the global financial crisis,Â decisions are being taken about how to re-regulate; where is Africa beingÂ represented?â€
According to him, â€œthe whole world relies on our cocoa, our oil, our gas, our humanÂ resources, our coffee, so many things from the African soil; but are our voicesÂ being heard when decisions are being taken? That is what Kuramo is all about.â€.
Describing the conference as a conclave of the best brains that will begin to leadÂ the African voice, Governor Fashola declared: â€œThe whole idea behind the KuramoÂ Conference is to convene people to come and begin to think for us because what we doÂ here on this continent will define, in my view, the shape of this planet in thisÂ century.
â€œIt is not about Lagos. It is Africa now and I am certain in my thoughts that weÂ have the best intellectuals here.â€ The governor added that the idea was to let LagosÂ set the pace.
On the other benefits of the conference, Governor Fashola explained: â€œWe will beÂ having many visitors in our state. This means that the hospitality sector willÂ experience a boom; the taxi drivers, the hoteliers, the restaurants and all of thatÂ will benefit from the inflow of visitors.â€
The conference which will take place at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island,Â between November 2nd and 4th, will be chaired by the Chairman of the IndependentÂ Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (retd).