Former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan arrived in Dakar on Tuesday to participate in a Sub-regional dialogue on sustaining democratic principles in West Africa organized by the West African Elders Forum (WAEF).
Dr, Jonathan who is the chair of WAEF will be declaring the event open alongside Senegalese President Macky Sall. The two-day programme, beginning on May 12, 2009, will provide the opportunity for former heads of state and other thought leaders in the sub-region to review recent socio-political developments, identify challenges and offer some recommendations that would enhance credible elections and peaceful transition of power in the sub-region.
Other notable leaders from the sub-region expected at the event include former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Koroma, former United Nations Special Representative to West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas and former President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr Thomas Ouedraogo.
Participants at the dialogue will be focusing on many issues affecting the growth of democracy in the sub-region including constitutional term limits, credible elections as well as return of military coups and unconstitutional change of government. They will also examine processes of galvanizing and harnessing subregional and regional responses to the socio-political challenges affecting West Africa’s democratic progress and advancement.
Since inauguration last year, WAEF, an initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, has continued to champion causes that promote, peace, democracy and good governance in the sub-region.
Two months ago, the Forum made up of mainly former Presidents and prime ministers from the sub-region convened a strategy meeting where they shared their thoughts on the democratic trends in West Africa.
During the inauguration of the Forum in March last year, Dr. Jonathan, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and six other former West African leaders resolved to collectively exert their enormous goodwill towards ensuring peace in West African nations, by promoting credible elections and good governance, in order to prevent the nations from descending into crises.
Other former Presidents who participated in the virtual event where a mechanism targeted at preventing and resolving election related conflicts and maintaining stability in the sub-region was established include Pedro Pires Cabo Verde, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia, Amos Sawyer Liberia, Ernest Bai Koroma Sierra Leone as well as former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Mrs. Aminata Traore, former Senegalese Prime Minister.