By NBF News
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Africa needs strong grassroots administration - Jonathan

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has canvassed the strengthening of local government administration in Africa, saying strong structures at the grassroots impact significantly at the national level.

He stated this yesterday in Abuja when he received former Ghanaian president, Mr Jerry Rawlings, who led a delegation of the Commonwealth Local Governments Forum executive on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

'The growth of a nation stems from growth at the grassroots. If we have good leaders at the local councils, then it is brought to bear on the national and continental levels,' he told his guests.

He praised the former Ghanaian president for his leadership role in Ghana and on the African continent, urging him not to relent.

Jonathan also congratulated Ghana on its 52nd independence anniversary, saying the fact that several African countries, including Nigeria, are celebrating the golden jubilee anniversary of their independence this year meant a call for African renaissance.

'As Africans, we have to leave our past behind us and move the continent forward,' he stated.

Rawlings, who is in Nigeria for the Pan-African Assembly of the United Cities and Local Governments, a global organization, congratulated Jonathan on his elevation as Acting President.

'I wish you the best and God's strength, and same for the people of Nigeria. We are happy with the peace and stability in Nigeria and we want it to continue,' he said.

Rawlings explained that the grassroots administration conference was on African development and stable electoral processes at the grassroots and expressed optimism that African leaders would imbibe resolutions from the parley.

Speaking with correspondents after the meeting, Rawlings said forceful accession to power on the African continent was a closed chapter in its history.

'I think we have gone past that stage. We can have constitutional, peaceful revolutions in the continent. Nigeria has the structures and institutions to provide solutions to its problems,' he added.