IN HIS SPECIAL welcome statement delivered at the opening of the 46th Session of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Abuja, Nigeria recently, Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, informed member states that most of the achievements recorded in the region have been in democracy and economic growth as Africa is today one of the fastest growing region recording an economic rate of 7 percent in 2013.
- JONATHAN, REFLECTING on the gains being made by Africa said the inflow of foreign direct investment in the recent past has placed Africa as a leading investment destination. President Jonathan urged the Commission to continue to coordinate the full implementation of various economic integration programs of the Community in order to fast track the economic development of the region in the coming years.
ON THE OTHER hand, President Jonathan reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to supporting peace and stability in the West African region with the belief that a politically stabled West Africa will safeguard the vital interests of all citizens and at the same time be a vital partner in the search for global peace.
ADMITTING TO THE continuous challenges in the sub region, the Nigerian President said prominent among them today is the ravaging Ebola epidemic which in the past six months has negatively impacted the region.
HE RECALLED HOW Ebola has claimed several thousands of lives apart from negatively impacting the economies and called on member states as well as development partners and the international community to contribute generously to the ECOWAS Regional Solidarity Funds to help curb the virus.
WE WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE with the Nigerian leader that most of the achievements recorded in the region have been in democracy and economic growth and that the region is one of the fastest growing regions with its economic rate of 7 percent last year.
THIS IS SO because of the stability of the region, something that is contributing positively to the growth and development of Africa. It is true that peace brings about economic development and prosperity something the region is now enjoying.
WITH THE ABUNDANT resources Africa has as one of the richest continents in the world, it cannot be left behind in the economic development; that is why, we as Africans especially our leaders must do everything possible to protect the gains being made in recent times especially in our economy and democratic process.
IT IS BASED on our recent achievements in the areas of democracy and economic growth that we are calling on our leaders to avoid any act that will derail the level of peace and tranquility Africa is now enjoying.
LET US KEEP the light burning in the spirit of unity and African solidarity. Africa can no longer revert to the past, something that kept us shackled in bondage. We need to move ahead and be on par with other continents of the world. This can only be done if our leaders avoid those things that led to conflicts and other vices thus, undermining the growth of the continent.
AGAIN, WE WELCOME President Jonathan’s comments and call on African leaders to take heed and govern themselves against vices that have the propensity to plunge the continent into chaos. Remember that if one country of Africa is in conflict, the continent will be affected one way or the other.