Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has canvassed continued support for Nigeria and Africa’s economic progress through trade and investment at the Hope Global Forums in the United States.
Delivering the opening remarks at the event which is discussing Emerging Africa: Beyond the Headlines, on Friday, January 15, 2016, Dr. Jonathan, who insisted that “foreign aid can never help Africa grow its economy,” lamented the fact that Africa, which has 15 per cent of the world’s population, only controls 2.5 per cent of global trade.
He was applauded when he pointed out, however, that value must be added to commodity exports otherwise “all we will be doing is exporting jobs.”
He also got a standing ovation for calling for affirmative action to empower African women politically, economically and socially.
He drew parallels between Africa and Nigeria’s economic and social struggles and those of Atlanta and the HOPE Foundation, stressing that he was devoting his post presidential life to partnering with others of like minds to develop the African continent by working for political stability and wealth creation.
The former President gave highlights of his experience as head of the Commonwealth Election Observer mission to Tanzania and also talked about his administration’s policy of empowering youths with capital through such interventionist programs as Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) and the Nagropreneurs initiative. He encouraged other African nations to introduce similar policies.
Prior to the event, Dr. Jonathan met privately with Ambassador Andrew Young and John Bryant Hope, Chairman and Founder of HOPE.
Also at the event were former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, Atlanta Mayor, Mayor Kassim Reed, and other city fathers.
2016 is the first year the Hope Global Forums has showcased Sub Saharan Africa.