WEF 2014: We won't allow terrorism halt Africa's progress - Jonathan
13 heads of state, over 1000 delegates confirm participation
President Goodluck Jonathan said Monday that the Federal Government would not to allow terrorism stand in the way of Africa's progress.
Jonathan, while speaking in Abuja on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum for Africa which is scheduled to begin in Abuja on Tuesday (today), said that Africa should not allow the activities of a few anti-progressive elements to deter Africa from the path of growth and development.
He spoke after bilateral talks between him and Kenyan President Kenyatta.
Jonathan said that Nigeria and Kenya share common experience as countries under terrorist scourge and commended the courage expressed by Kenyatta for not aborting the state visit and the invitation to the World Economic Forum because of the recent terrorists attack in Kenya.
He said that the visit of Kenyatta to Nigeria in spite of the terrorist attack in Kenya was a clear signal that the attack would not stop the continent of Africa from moving forward.
Jonathan said, 'The act of terror in Africa is diversionary being organised by group of people that does not want the continent to move forward.
'Whenever a country iâ€Žs showing any sign of progress, this criminal elements will strike. Yes they are setting us backward, they are slowing us down, they are killing innocent citizens, they are destroying properties. But surelyâ€Ž we will overcome and Terror will not stop Africa from progressing'
'The terror attack is naturally to frighten people â€Žbut as governments we will do our best to make sure that we provide maximum protection for our citizens.'
In his own remarks, Kenyatta who condoled with Nigerians over the recent terrorist attacks in Abuja said that his country was also experiencing such attacks.
He, however, agreed with Jonathan that such attacks would not deter the continent of Africa from moving forward, stressing that the Africa would unite to fight and defeat terrorism.
Kenyatta noted that his country experienced terrorist attack last Sunday in which many lost their lives while others were injured in the attack that took place in Nairobi Kenya.
'These attacks are aimed at cowing the people of our countries and this continent, to derail them from the new agenda that we have set for ourselves.
'My presence here is an indication that these people will not derail us. We will continue, we shall fight the fight and we will win the fight and in the process we will continue with our agenda of transforming our continent's economy.This we must not loss focus on'
'Mine is to ask the people that we must join hands together, â€Žgovernment alone cannot defeat these cowards who attack people in buses by the road side. We must ask our people to join hands with us to fight this battle', Kenyatta said
In a communique issued after the bilateral talks, the two countries agreed to form a Joint Business Council and to ensure a translation of various agreements signed into practical reality
The two countries also signed three agreements on cooperation in trade, agriculture and integration; and other memoranda of understanding, on cooperation in police service, control in trafficking of narcotics.
Meanwhile, about 13 heads of state and over 1000 delegates from across the globe will be in Abuja for the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), according to the forum's Director and Head of Africa Region, Ms. Elsie Kanza.
WEFA 2014 takes place in Abuja from Tuesday (today) through to Thursday.
Kanza, said at a pre-event briefing in Abuja Monday,that the figure was one of the highest after many years of hosting the event in different countries of the world.
“We are expecting over a thousand participants from over 70 countries, more than half will come from African countries and many will come from the business communities, NGOs (non governmental organisations) and religious groups,'' she said
One of the major highlights of the global even is the launch of a 'Safe Schools Initiative' for the North-east by Africa's richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the Chairman, Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY Newspapers, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, among others.