Jonathan gave the advise in Addis Ababa when he featured as a discussant on the topic “African Leadership: Transforming Growth into Shared opportunities for present and future generations’’ at the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa.
“As a leader, you don’t have to be the strongest person in your country. One of the issues is for African leaders not to see themselves above the state. We should also not allow personal interests above the state interests,’’ he said.
Jonathan said the most important thing for a leader was not to allow himself to stay in power longer than necessary.
“One should not stay in power longer than necessary and he should identify the most competent persons both within the country and from the Diaspora and use them to develop the country’’, Jonathan said.
He said a leader should also avoid shifting base because of personal, group or other interests but be consistent in following the right path for his people and his country.
Jonathan said also one of the qualities of a good leader was to be able to solve problems with courage.
“I believe in practical things not theory. The key issue is to be able to face challenges and solve problems’’, he said.
The president said his administration was doing everything possible to empower women and give them the deserved representation both in the elective and appointed positions.
“We have about 11 women ministers in the cabinet. I tried to have more women in the elective positions but it was not possible, so I appointed many of them who are talented to give their contributions in developing the country’’, he said.
He said opportunities in elective positions were also given to the youth as more than 60 per cent of members of the parliament at the state and local government levels are young and that about 30 per cent of the members of the National Assembly are also young.