former nigerian president jonathan tasks african leaders on afcfta

Former Nigerian President Jonathan tasks African leaders on AfCFTA

Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, who served as the president of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015, has charged African leaders with the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a free trade area surrounding most of Africa. 

While attending the second Kenneth Kaunda Memorial Public Lecture on Saturday in Pretoria, South Africa, he called on African leaders to unite. He made the call in a speech at the lecture titled ‘Kenneth Kaunda’s Lessons For Humanity’.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Goodluck Jonathan said that AfCFTA was an economic blueprint for Africa’s economic self-sufficiency.

Jonathan reportedly said, “We need to demonstrate solidarity to address our shared problems of insecurity, poverty, and unity among our people. It is time to forge partnerships across the African continent that will guarantee unity and enhance its developmental prospects. It is within this context that the advocacy for the full implementation of the AfCFTA becomes very imperative.”

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He highlighted the importance of strengthening a common African market. He went on to urge African leaders to commit and work towards implementing AfCFTA. The former Nigerian president also urged the leaders to address Africa’s infrastructure gaps, including problems in transportation, air, and rail networks.

He also called on Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, Chad, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso to resolve crises. He further said, “As Africans, we must ask ourselves what is the cause of all these crises.”

During the lecture, he also revealed how the late Kenneth Kaunda, in 2006, believed in him. He said that Kenneth Kaunda believed in his potential to become president of Nigeria. 

Kenneth Kaunda (KK) served as the first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. He died on June 17, 2021, in Lusaka, Zambia. 

Jonathan said, “Kenneth Kaunda was the man who saw tomorrow as it related to my political future and fortune. I eventually became the President of Nigeria.”