September seems to be a significant month for African leaders to woo foreign investors to the continent in New York.
Fresh from his rousing Pan-African speech at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu rang the closing bell at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ), New York on September 20.
The Nigerian president, whose first address to world leaders at the Assembly received commendable reviews, also used the opportunity at NASDAQ, regarded as the world’s second largest stock exchange, to woo foreign investors.
“It’s a great honour for me to be here. I am happy to bring Nigeria to your doorstep and I am honoured that we are here today with a bubbling Nigerian stock market that will evolve in the West African sub-region. The greatest economy in Africa is Nigeria, there is an immense opportunity in Nigeria where you can invest your money without fear. You’re free to take in your money and bring out your money. I count on you to invest in Nigeria,” the President stated.
At the Nigeria-U.S. Executive Business Roundtable, which was held just after the closing bell, President Tinubu also assured prospective investors of Nigeria’s readiness for business.
“Nigeria is an opportunity that is impossible to replicate or find elsewhere in any part of the world. We have brilliant young people who both innovate and consume on a large scale. Our entrepreneurial spirit is a major part of what makes our market totally unique, aside from demography. Nigerians build businesses and Nigerian businesses partner with other businesses to conduct larger business,” he said.
Tinubu follows the footsteps of another African leader, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who first rang the Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell on September 21, 2011. Kikwete rang the bell in honour of Global Health Commitments for Women’s Health and Women’s Cancers at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square.
Similarly, in his bid to attract foreign investments to the country, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, in September 2011, was also accorded the honour of ringing the closing bell at the renowned New York Stock Exchange, NYSE.
The African leaders were accompanied to the symbolic bell ring by a retinue of senior government officials.