Advance Statement By Nigeria For The Historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: www.nigerianssavingnigerians.org

President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.

U.S-AFRICAN LEADERS SUMMIT
WASHINGTON, DC, 5-6 AUGUST 2014

We thank President Barrack Obama for convening the first-ever U.S-African
Leaders Summit. This worthwhile initiative is a credit to his commitment to building and
sustaining collaborative ties between the United States and Africa.

2. Being the first Summit level dialogue of its kind, there is understandable
excitement about what the Governments of the United States and African countries can
achieve working together on shared goals and priorities. Indeed, this Summit is welltimed,
given the range of complex challenges confronting Africa at the present time.

3. Although there are country-specific priorities, the crises facing Africa are largely
similar and cut across countries. These challenges are multifaceted. At their root are
poverty, security, governance, infrastructure and capacity issues. It is apparent that
many African countries, including mine, are not going to meet all the Millennium
Development Goals by 2015. Overcoming the various challenges on the road to
meeting MDG targets and the post-2015 SDGs will require strengthened cooperation
with the United States and other development partners.

4. We believe that poor governance is a major cause of conflict in Africa. This is
often exacerbated by closed political processes in several of our countries. We would
therefore, do well to scale up efforts to nurture viable and capable States in our
continent. We must have States that are able to provide security and ensure the
equitable distribution of public goods and services. Africa must also institutionalize the
principles of political pluralism, good governance and respect for human rights.

5. We believe that a future of peace, stability and democracy would be greatly
rewarding for the continent. Only in a democracy can Africa’s ethnic, cultural and
religious diversities find mutual accommodation and the freedom and opportunities that
come with it.

6. Across Africa, the democratic process is on the move even though it has taken
different turns and trajectories, with countries recording different levels of progress. On
the whole, elections have become more regular even as we recognise that work remains
to be done to deepen the democratic culture and strengthen its institutions across Africa.

7. Democracy, stability and prosperity are essential elements of Africa’s nation
building process requiring the support of the international community. We believe the
U.S can support Africa’s democratic rebirth, stability and creation of opportunities for
millions across the continent.

8. The future belongs to our youth. The theme of this Summit, “Investing in the Next
Generation”, is as appropriate as it is a call to action. President Obama’s Young African
Leaders Initiative (YALI), complements Africa’s efforts to make the youth the centrepiece
of our development agenda.

9. As the continent with the largest percentage of youth, to meet the yearnings and
aspirations of our growing youth population, we have to continue to expand our
economies, create wealth and employment opportunities. Africa cannot achieve this by
depending on foreign aid from development partners, which has been declining in recent
years. What Africa needs is real access to markets in the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Department (OECD) countries. African countries must, however, start
with expanding intra-regional trade. In the global trade, Africa will require transiting from
exporting raw materials and primary commodities to higher value finished and semi
finished products.

10. To achieve this, policy reforms and economic diversification are important. That
is why, in Nigeria, we embarked on far-reaching reforms in the Power, Agriculture and
Industrial sectors, which aim at attracting private sector investments, diversifying our
economy and building of our productive capacity. Africa needs to intensify its efforts on
drivers for economic growth including human capital development, regional and global
trade integration and its business environment. In this quest, Africa needs assistance in
developing high value non-primary commodities to fully take advantage of the African
Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Africa needs increased infrastructure and related
services, including energy, transport, information and communication technology. In this
regard, we welcome President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative which was launched in
2013. It is our hope that the Initiative will have wider coverage.

11. In addition to intra-State conflicts, several African countries, including Nigeria, are
now challenged by terrorism and violent extremism. For several countries in the
continent, terrorism has become a real threat to social progress, peace and security.
Terrorism also threatens the continent’s state system and democracies.

12. The violent and criminal activities of Boko Haram in my country have captured the
world’s attention. This has been especially so since the terrorist group abducted some
girls from their school dormitory in the North-Eastern Nigeria in April. This vile act by
Boko Haram in Nigeria typifies a dangerous trend by insurgent groups in the continent’s
fragile security environment.

13. Boko Haram is more than a domestic terrorist group. The group is a threat to
regional peace and security. This much was affirmed by the Special Summit on Security
in Nigeria, hosted by President Francoise Hollande in Paris in May, 2014. We now know
that this insurgent group has grown into the Nigerian wing of Al-Qaeda with its
international network linking terrorist groups in the Sahel and Mali and Al-Shabaab in
Somalia. Nigeria may be the epicentre of Boko Haram terrorist activities at the moment,
but its affiliation with international terrorist networks, dramatically increases its capacity
and reach beyond Nigeria’s borders.

14. President Obama has described Boko Haram “as one of the most dangerous
regional terrorist organisations in the world.” Boko Haram kills anyone irrespective of
gender, religion and age. It destroys everything in its sight. Since 2009, this terrorist
group has killed over 12,000 Nigerians, and continues to maim many more as well as
burn and raze down communities, places of worship, public institutions and
infrastructure.

15. Nigeria is doing everything possible to combat Boko Haram and violent
extremism. While we continue to enhance our intelligence and military capacities, we
are, at the same time, working political solutions by engaging State Governments and
local communities. We are seeking economic solutions through various economic
empowerment and job creation programmes. We are creating economic opportunities
and addressing the root causes of youth restiveness.

16. We are also building partnerships, both at the regional and international levels, to
combat the threat posed by terrorism in our sub-region. In this enterprise, we are
pleased to acknowledge the supportive role of the United States. The assistance that
we continue to receive from the United States and our other international partners is
proof indeed that partnership can multiply our strengths in addressing common
challenges.

17. We are optimistic that continuing international support will help us rid our
continent of the growing incident of terrorism. We call for an effective international
sanctions regime that would hold accountable any country, institutions and individual that
financed terrorism in any part of the world. This inaugural Africa-US Summit must call
for effective action and implementation of all existing international protocols on this
critical issue.

18. The rise of piracy is of utmost concern to us. Growing piracy in the Horn of
Africa, the “ECOWAS space”, as well as in the Gulf of Guinea is undermining the fragile
security of the countries of the zone. Across the region, piracy is dovetailing into other
forms of organised crimes, including oil theft, hostage-taking, human and drug trafficking
and proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. Regional efforts to forge initiatives
to counter these dangers have so far proved ineffective, largely because these countries
lack adequate and appropriate maritime surveillance and enforcement capabilities.

19. The security problems faced by the countries of Africa are transnational in scope.
They, therefore, cannot be solved by one single country. The terrorism challenge in
particular has posed gaps in individual nation’s capacities to deal with new complex
security challenges. Because terrorism, piracy and transnational organised crimes are
global in scope, they will require regional and international collaboration to combat. We
must act in concert. U.S leadership on all these issues remains critical to successful
outcome.

20. It is reassuring to have the U.S. Government pledge to enhance its partnership
with Africa and to work with governments across the continent to address shared
priorities. A large part of the task ahead would be to expand economic opportunities and
enlarge the political space in our countries on the principles of popular participation, rule
of law and respect for human rights. This is what all of Africa pledged to do in the
Constitutive Act of African Union. I believe these values must remain at the centre of
governance in Africa, if we are to achieve our goals of stability, security and
development.

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