The president said Nigeria would remain a strong supporter of Pan-Africanism.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday called on African leaders to declare an end to self-inflicted wars and conflicts to usher in an era of transformation, peace, stability and sustainable development.
In his contribution to the debate on Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, in Addis Ababa, Mr. Jonathan urged the leaders to rededicate themselves to ensuring delivery of democratic values to the peoples of Africa.
“The message today is, Africa must declare an end to the era of self-inflicted wars, conflicts and usher in an era of transformation, peace, stability and sustainable development. For too long, Africa has been the victim of external domination, exploitation and manipulation; Africa must rediscover itself.
“In this regard, we must first take definite steps to implement all the frameworks aimed at curtailing proliferation of small arms and light weapons on our continent. These are weapons used in the prosecution of deadly conflicts, acts of terror, arm robbery, piracy and all sort of crimes.”
Mr. Jonathan said with Africa free, leaders must commit themselves to deepening democracy and the rule of law to allow for democracy to flourish.
“We must end the culture of abuse of power and impunity; we must embrace the culture of acceptability, equity and justice; we must respect the wishes of our people when they express them democratically, freely and openly. For Pan-Africanism to endure and African Renaissance to occur, a peaceful Africa must learn some lessons from its ancient past as the cradle of human civilization,” he said.
He said in the past 50 years, the world has moved very fast, driven by high level technology and sciences and that “Africa must be part of that movement.”
The president said Nigeria would remain a strong supporter of Pan-Africanism, its ideals and objectives as championed by the union. He said Nigeria would continue to be in the vanguard of the collective effort aimed at realizing the continent’s dream as Africa remains the central focus of the country’s foreign policy.
Various AU member states took turns to contribute to the debate.
The 50th Anniversary celebration is expected to kick off after the debate.