FACT CHECK: Omokri makes more untrue claims about G-7 Summit

To clarify his earlier misleading claims fact-checked by The Guardian, former presidential aide Reno Omokri further made some statements that are untrue.

Omokri had earlier claimed that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was not invited to the Group of Seven (G-7) summit because of Buhari’s “misrule”. He also tweeted a 2017 picture of American president Donald Trump and the president African Development Bank Akinwunmi Adesina to buttress his point.

The G7 summit or ‘Group of Seven’, meets each year, bringing together the heads of state and government of the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus the presidents of the European Commission and European Council.

The G7 members currently represent close to 40% of the global GDP and 10% of the world’s population. When the group was created in 1975, they represented 70% of the global GDP.

Findings by The Guardian shows that invitation of other non-G7 leaders to attend the annual summit has been a recurring feature since the G-7 countries created the African Segment of the summit in 2001. These invitations are extended by the immediate G7 president and reflect the strategic interests of the host country.

In the last five years, only one African country, Senegal, has been invited to the summit more than Nigeria. They invited the country in 2019, 2018 and 2015, while Nigeria was invited to the summit in 2015 and 2017.

In his reactionary tweets to the fact-check story, Omokri made other claims:

Here are five things Reno Omokri got wrong about Nigeria’s absence.

Claim 1: Ghanawas invited over Nigeria because Ghana has overtaken Nigeria “as West Africa’s number one destination for Foreign Direct Investments”

Just five African nation were invited for the 2019 G-7 summit. Only Rwanda, South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, and Burkina Faso were invited. Contrary to Omokri’s claim, Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo was not in France during the G-7 Summit.

He was in Japan for the seventh Tokyo International on African Development – the same conference Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is attending in Japan.

Akufo-Addo left Ghana on Saturday, 24th August and is not expected back in the country until September 1.

Claim 2: Buhari travelled to Japan to meet the Japanese PM Abe Shinzo

Buhari did not travel to Japan to “meet” his “host” Japanese Prime Minister. The Nigerian president, together with about twenty African leaders, is taking part in the seventh edition of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) summit, which kicked off today (August 28) in Japan.

The government of Japan has been leading this conference since 1993, co-hosted by the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC).

The conference was held every five years in Tokyo before it was recently changed to every three years and to rotate between Tokyo and Africa. TICAD 6 thus held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.

Claim 3: African nations are invited to the G-7 based on their economy and their governance and the RELEVANCE of both of theseto the G-7.

African countries are not invited to G-7 summit based on the three reasons cited by Omokri. Depending on the key themes chosen by the Presidency (hosting nation), non-member countries and international organizations are invited to take part in ministerial meetings and certain summit sessions, including the expanded meeting, traditionally called the “Outreach Session.”

For the 2019 edition, Rwanda, South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and Burkina Faso were all invited. Rwanda was invited in its capacity as the former chair of the African Union, Egypt as the current chair, while South Africa was invited as the incoming chair. Senegal was invited as the current leader of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), while Burkina Faso was also invited for the G7 Summit as the chair of G5 Sahel.

The official website of the 2019 G-7 Summit said: “In addition to South Africa, four countries playing a leading role on the continent and which are players in multilateral cooperation, committed to preserving biodiversity and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, are also invited to the Biarritz Summit and to several preparatory meetings.”