President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Sunday that African growth and development will require strong, visionary leadership that caters to the needs of the people, and effectively strengthens institutions that encourage peaceful co-existence, while providing disincentives to conflicts and coups.
According to a statement by the presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, the two leaders came to agree on this during a meeting at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Adesina stated that at the meeting between both leaders, President Buhari commended the efforts of the Prime Minister in maintaining peace and unity in the country, and dedication to ensuring fairness and justice in development.
“You are leading a country that is large and diversified, just like Nigeria, and I know the sacrifices required to make the desired impact, especially in maintaining peace,” the President said.
President Buhari urged the Ethiopian leader to stay focused on keeping the country together, in spite of the difficulties, assuring that Nigeria will continue to support efforts in peaceful co-existence and unity.
The President said Ahmed had provided strong leadership for the country, encouraging him to sustain the good work in ensuring even development.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister thanked the President for support to the country over the years, on national and personal endeavours, particularly in encouraging unity and stability.
Ahmed noted that the African continent had been slow in growth due to conflicts, adding that the larger economies, like Nigeria and Ethiopia, should provide the leadership that will deepen progress and prosperity on the continent.
The Prime Minister said the resurgence of coups on the continent could further weaken institutions and reverse the gains of democracy, appreciating President Buhari for his position on zero tolerance for military interference in governance.
Ahmed said collective and visionary leadership will move Africa forward.