President Goodluck Jonathan has called on African leaders to pay full attention to the economic emancipation of their nations. Addressing the South African Parliament in Cape Town during his state visit, Jonathan said having successfully liberated the continent from colonialism, racism and apartheid, African leaders now ought to make strong economies and strengthen democratic governance.
"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 50 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. Saying the continent had emerged as the new frontier for trade and investment in the world, Jonathan also charged African leaders to rise to the challenge of managing the new opportunities presented by the situation for the benefit of their citizens and nations.
According to him, "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-centred, continental integration.