Jonathan in Atlanta, Says Africa Does Not Need Foreign Aid to Develop
President Goodluck Jonathan has said that “foreign aid can never help Africa grow its economy. It can only help you exist vegetatively”. The immediate past Nigerian President spoke at the Hope Global Forum on Friday in Atlanta, Geogia, USA.
Jonathan said in his opening remarks at the event where he was honoured and got resounding welcome: “All African nations need to come together to build unity and advance peace within the continent. Without peace, there cannot be development and without development we cannot fulfill the dreams of our Founding Fathers for political and economic independence. Economic independence is a target we must all aspire to, which in turn should lead us to the next level in the continuum of maturity, which is interdependence amongst Africans.”
Looking relaxed and radiant in his suit, a fashion style he was rarely in while in office, Dr. Jonathan said the time has come for African nations to begin to forge common economic fronts to strengthen their individual and collective economies.
President Jonathan has been receiving international accolade since leaving office. It is a mark of recognition of his decision to concede defeat in the March,2015 Presidential election. An action unprecedented in Africa , which brought peace to Nigeria despite predictions that the nation would be in crisis in 2015.
Late last year, he was selected for honour by the Diplomatic Circle in Geneva, Switzerland for his democratic credentials and upholding of human rights in Africa.
The former president received the honour on Thursday, January 21, at the group’s annual dinner in Geneva. He is the first African leader to be so honoured by the revered group of diplomats.
Earlier in the year, a public policy organisation on African affairs, the Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center, recommended the ex-president for the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to the group, the peaceful way Jonathan conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the general election deserves the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee.
“He may have not promoted fraternity between nations but he surely promotes fraternal peace among Nigerians by conceding power,” the group noted.
Also last year, Jonathan was appointed the leader of the Commonwealth international observers to monitor the Tanzanian general elections scheduled for October 25.
The Daily News of Tanzania reports that citizens of the country were happy that the former Nigerian leader will lead a 33-nation observer mission.
Describing him as “a hero of free and fair election in Africa”, Tanzanians are sure that Jonathan’s presence will bring credibility to the polls.
In an editorial titled “Salutary lessons for Tanzania from Nigeria’s latest elections”, Jonathan is praised for his exemplary feat of conceding defeat even before the end of the electoral process.
“Jonathan may very well have averted bloodshed that is characteristic of incumbent leaders who cling in power tooth and nail, fang and claw! What lesson is there in this for us in Tanzania, pray?”
“It is generally admitted that the election in Nigeria was unprecedentedly free, fair and transparent, whereby the opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, won the presidency. What is more remarkable is that the incumbent president who sought re-election, Goodluck Jonathan … most graciously accepted the results promptly!
“Oh, I don’t know beyond the fact that Tanzania could tragically do worse if it fails to dedicatedly take a leaf out of Nigeria’s newest book on elections!” the paper wrote