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Niger: President Issoufou in New York

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The President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, spoke at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on 23 September 2016, and began a diplomatic marathon including: a bilateral meeting with Ban-Ki Moon, a meeting about COP22 in Marrakech with Morocco’s Foreign Ministry Minister Delegate Bourita Nasser, and a special summit on Lake Chad. In his speech to the General Assembly, he called for change in global governance systems in order to achieve the sustainable development goals. He advocated for substantive reforms to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the Bretton Woods institutions. In addition, at a meeting with investors, he presented the second phase of his Niger Renaissance Programme. With an ambitious investment plan of USD 15 billion over five years, the programme encourages private actors to participate in the diversification of Niger’s economy and in the implementation of the country’s sustainable development goals. It includes reforms meant to encourage foreign direct investment and to improve the business environment, particularly in the extractive sector and in agriculture, which is the focus of the 3N Initiative, “Nigeriens feed Nigeriens.” The head of state reported that the country is looking for long-term partners, and he highlighted the strengths of his country -- including the availability of important natural resources and its status as the most important business partner of the northern regions of Nigeria. He also stressed the pivotal role that Niger plays in linking West Africa to North Africa and Europe politically and economically.
 
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