Malawi President Joyce Banda joined world leaders in paying tribute to Nigeria on Thursday as the West African country kicked off a centenary celebration of the 1914 amalgamation of its southern and northern protectorates into a full blown colony of former British administrators.
Banda she joined 27 other world leaders that attended a day-long Summit Level Conference on Human Security, Peace and Development at the Abuja International Conference Centre in Nigeria where South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and French President Francois Hollande were among those who attended the celebrations.
“There is a stubborn link between human security, peace and development. One cannot meaningfully be achieved without the others,” said the Malawian leader further calling the leaders to ensure good governance is entrenched and human rights respected across the continent.
African leaders at the conference identified security as a major threat to the existence of democratic institutions in Africa. This, the leaders said while lamenting the security crisis in Nigeria.
French President, Francois Hollande, who expressed interest in Africa’s agenda for security, with Nigeria taking the lead, used the occasion of the centenary celebrations to express support in fighting terrorism in Nigeria.
The conference was organised to celebrate Nigeria’s 100 years of existence.
President Goodluck Jonathan who welcomed the heads of state to Nigeria said this is time to look back with gratitude and forward with hope and confidence.
Meanwhile, President Banda returns home tomorrow on Saturday 1st March, 2014 , State House Press Secretary Steve Nhlane announced on Friday.
Before the President went to Nigeria, she attended the 17th Summit of the COMESA Authority of Heads of State and Government which was held in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.