Nigerian-born Collins Nweke, was on Friday in London sworn in as Councillor of West- Flanders Constituency in Belgium, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Nweke, a member of the Belgian Green Party, was re-elected last year having made history in 2006 when he became the first non-Belgian born politician to win an elective position in West-Flanders.
With his re-election, Nweke's mandate includes issues bordering on the economy, social policy, international development and minority priority. "The last several years were a learning curve where some important results were equally achieved.
" I will continue to have my eyes on the ball as far as social policy is concerned, but with an expanded portfolio that includes the economy and international development.
"Small and medium enterprises are the engine of the local economy and a business-friendly environment will not only keep existing businesses in good shape but will attract new investments and create jobs. A number of good initiatives are ongoing and obviously these would be continued and enhanced. It will also make sense to re-evaluate some economic activities that are liabilities to the local economy," He told NAN's Western Europe Correspondent.
Nweke, who spoke on international development, said the challenges of global meltdown were insurmountable. "I think that the relationship between the western economies and the emerging ones has for too long being based on the wrong premise.
He said that partnership, rather than charity, should be the bedspring on which the larger part of the relationship rests. "The economies of the west are showing signs of saturation, while there are huge developmental potential in the emerging economies. So let's build a relationship of mutual benefits."
Nweke, 46, years, migrated to Belgium in 1993; he is currently the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO) Europe.