(InformAfrica) — President John Evans Atta Mills has said African countries with one accord could rise above the challenges of the Continent, and make it a showpiece to the rest of the world.
He says the successful conduct of democratic elections across the countries of the Continent was evidence that it was following the path of democracy, and gave an assurance that Ghana would maintain the standards of free, fair and transparent elections in 2012.
Proposing the toast at a state dinner in Accra in honour of Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of Nigeria, President Mills stressed the need for credible elections as a signal to dispel any doubt that Africans wanted to take their destiny in their own hands.
The Nigerian President, who arrived Friday evening, is on a two-day state visit to Ghana on the last leg of a three-nation African tour that had already taken him to Rwanda and Ethiopia.
The visit to Ghana is his first since he took office last year.
President Mills commended his Nigerian counterpart on his assumption of the high office and on his position as the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-regional group.
President Mills traced the historical, cultural and social links between Ghana and Nigeria, and noted that there were a lot that the two nations shared in common.
That he said required that there must be common solutions to address challenges that confront the two nations.
“The challenges confronting us are not insurmountable; with the right co-operation we should be able to overcome these challenges,” President Mills said.
He noted with joy that the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), as part of its Golden Jubilee celebration, would be conferring an honorary doctorate degree on President Jonathan during the visit.
President Mills, a former university don, commended President Jonathan, who shared a similar background, for transcending academia into politics successfully, saying “academia cannot be left out of politics entirely.”
President Jonathan, in response to the toast was appreciative of the full military honours on his arrival and the state banquet, and congratulated President Mills for getting the nod for the second term from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to lead the party in Ghana’s 2012 general elections.
With a feeling of nostalgia of having Ghanaian kin, friends and lecturers, President Jonathan observed that there were closer ties between the two nations than with those that they shared boundaries because of the distinct historical and political affinities.
He paid tribute to the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah for his role in Ghana’s independence and the African emancipation process.
He emphasized greater West African integration and more intra West African trade to create enlarged markets, and more investment for mutual benefits of West African states.
The two leaders would go into bilateral discussions on Saturday.
Goodluck Jonathan is expected also to lay a wreath at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum as part of the itinerary. He leaves for Abuja later in the day.