Greater Cohesion Key To Africa’s Development-Jonathan



Jonathan 200.jpg 600President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said that greater cohesion between African countries is key to surmounting developmental challenges on the continent.
The President made this assertion on Friday when he received the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize for Leadership (LAAP), for National Cohesion and Stability In Africa, by the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) at an event which held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
President Jonathan, speaking through his Vice, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said unity among fellow African countries would not only help stabilize the continent, but would also “help remedy the challenges we face, real or contrived.”
The President said Nigeria stood for the ideals of Pan-Africanism observing that “No matter how independent we may be as individual African States, the truth is, we are indeed more interdependent than we so often realize.
We are one people from the womb of one Africa! Whatever affects one may affect the other positively or negatively,” he added.
Speaking further, President Jonathan said national boundaries should not be a clog in the fight against terrorism and other social vices, as well as diseases like the Ebola virus disease stressing that the surest way of defeating them, was through collective efforts.
“We must again lean on cooperation, collaboration and shared experiences as we battle the degrading ills of poverty, illiteracy and underdevelopment.
” We must work for unity, we must cooperate, we must stand together,” he emphasized.
President Jonathan commended Nigerians for their support to Government in the pursuit of peace, equity and justice in the country noting that this support saw the country through a civil war, militancy in the Niger Delta, Ebola Virus disease and other social upheavals, emphasizing that it was also this cohesion that would see the end of terrorism in the country.
According to him “It is to God Almighty and the resilience of our people that we come out each time stronger, more cohesive and more determined.”
He thanked the organizers for the recognition, and for hosting the 2014 Laureate Prize Ceremony in Nigeria even as he said that the award would further spur him to do more, while also dedicating it to Nigerians.
Chairman of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, Ambassador Ashim Morton, speaking at the event said the MEF, sets standards of zealous principles to recognize meritorious achievements and therefore subscribes to its belief that whosoever merits praise, deserves honour. He thanked Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State for hosting the event, noting that this was the first time the event was organized outside a host country’s capital.
The MEF was established 15 years ago in Ghana, the LAAP is dubbed Africa’s most distinguished and highest prize honour. The award celebrates Africans that have distinguished themselves in positively impacting on the lives of fellow Africans. The Foundation has Ambassador Ashim Morton as the Chairman, while Mr. James Victor Gbeho is the President.
The 2014 LAAP laureates include His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene of Ghana for Traditional Governance in Africa; Dr. Check Modibo Diarra for science research in Africa; Prof Calestous Juma for Food security, Argo processing and development and quality; Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, for humanitarianism and equity; Jay Naidoo, for democratic governance and development; Tony O. Elumelu, for Sustainable development in Africa; Tidjane Thiam, for Action for Africa; Folorunsho Alakija, for Action for Africa; Dr. Manilal Premchand Chandaria, for economic development in Africa; Jim Ovia, for Economic development in Africa; Donald Kaberuka, for Nation building and African leadership; Ashish J. Thakkar, for entrepreneurial excellence in Africa; Amadou Mahtar Ba, for media development in Africa; Haile Gebrselassie, for black star of Africa; and Didier Drogba for black star of Africa.

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