President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, charged African leaders to foster greater political stability and accelerate economic growth among their countries.
He gave the charge in Yamoussoukro City Hall after receiving the keys to the city from the Mayor, Konan Ouanigbe Jean as part of a two-day State Visit to Cote d’Ivoire.
The President noted that no significant progress could be made without stable governance structures and strong national economies.
He pledged to continue to work with his host President Alassane Ouattara and other leaders of ECOWAS to achieve greater peace, security, political stability and economic prosperity in the sub-region.
Jonathan noted that there was an intrinsic link and a symbiotic relationship between political stability and economic development.
“We need to strengthen ECOWAS by strengthening our individual countries economically and politically. We must continue to do our best in this regard,’’ he said.
The President thanked the Mayor and people of Yamoussoukro for honouring him and his wife Dame Patience.
He described the first President of Cote d’Ivoire, the late President Felix Houphouet-Boigny whose home town is Yamoussoukro, as one of Africa’s greatest sons.
He noted that Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire already have excellent bilateral relations.
The President assured the people of the city that he will work in partnership with Ouattara to bring the two countries even closer politically and economically.”
He welcomed the offer of admission by the elite Felix Houphouet-Boigny National Polytechnic in Yamoussoukro
to 50 Nigerian students in the next academic year as a further gesture of friendship.
Jonathan said the Federal Government will sponsor at least one student from each state of Nigeria to take up the offer.
The President, after a colourful welcome, proceeded to lay a wreath at the mausoleum of Houphouet-Boigny.
Bilateral talks will be held between Nigerian and Ivorian government delegations in Abidjan on Saturday.
Jonathan will also on Saturday, address the Ivorian Parliament and meet with Nigerians resident in Cote D’Ivoire before returning to Nigeria.