The president asked his colleagues across the continent to make building strong economies and strengthening democratic governance their topmost priority.
President Goodluck Jonathan said on Tuesday in Cape Town that African leaders must fight corruption and money laundering for the continent to develop.
Mr. Jonathan said this when he addressed the South African Parliament as part of his state visit to South Africa.
“We must check the illicit transfer of huge sums of money to the developed world from Africa through sharp practices such as transfer pricing, tax evasion, and corruption, all of which contribute to Africa’s economic under-performance,” the Nigerian president said to the assembled members of parliament.
Addressing the South African Parliament during his state visit, Mr. Jonathan called on his colleagues across the continent to make building strong economies and strengthening democratic governance their topmost priority.
“On the 25th of this month, Africa will be celebrating the golden jubilee of the Organization of African Unity, now the African Union. As we take stock of the achievements of our continental organization, it is also appropriate that we reflect and decide where our continent should be in the next fifty years. That destination has to be a democratic and united Africa that is at peace with itself and can compete with the rest of the world,” he said.
Noting that Africa has emerged as the new frontier for trade and investment in the world, Mr. Jonathan said African leaders must rise to the challenge of managing the new opportunities presented by this situation for the benefit of their peoples and countries.
“There is certainly a lot more that we can do. We must work together to put an end to the exploitation and exploration of Africa’s resources for export without any value added. African countries must transform from being primary sources of raw material into producers to create jobs and opportunities for our people.
“We must check the loss of Africa’s trained manpower to already developed countries. We must work together to promote trade and investment among our countries and build trans-national infrastructure in such critical sectors as trade, telecommunications and transportation in order to fast-track the process of people-centered, continental integration.
Mr. Jonathan said that while there were positive developments in the area of governance in Africa, with the continent now having more democratic nations than at any other time in its history, democratic institutions were still weak in many African countries and needed to be strengthened. He said that African legislatures must see the need to insist on respect for the rule of law and accountability in the conduct of governmental affairs across the continent.
Noting that harmonious relationship between all the three arms of government, especially between the legislative and executive arms, is imperative for the objectives of good governance and national progress, he said that he was delighted that the Executive and the Legislature in South Africa have forged a strong partnership for the benefit of the country.
“It is an example that is worthy of emulation by some other countries where the doctrine of the separation of powers and cordial intra-governmental relations still remain a knotty challenge,” Mr. Jonathan said.
Recalling Nigeria’s partnership with the leaders of the African National Congress, ANC, to achieve the liberation of South Africa and ending of apartheid, Mr. Jonathan said that both countries must continue to work together in the interest of their people and the continent.
The President paid tribute to the “singular and collective heroism, as well as the inspirational examples” of former President Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Thambo, Govan Mbeki, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, and other South African men and women of “valour and integrity who were imbued with the spirit of sacrifice, patriotism, and devotion to the common good.”
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