Team Europe supports Africa’s COVID-19 response with 1.4 million test kits donated by Germany and delivered by the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge
October 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), through the African Union, today received the third and last batch of 1.4 million COVID-19 test kits donated by the Government of Germany. The kits were delivered through a European Union (EU) Humanitarian Air Bridge flight as part of the EU’s global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, worth over €26 million, with contributions from the EU, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Sweden.
This donation is to provide direct support for implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for the COVID-19 Outbreak, and the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) across Africa.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Team Europe has mobilized support for response in Africa through a variety of actions designed to help bridge the supply and capacity gaps and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the continent.
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, noted that today’s humanitarian aid delivery is a concrete example of the strong partnership between the EU and the African Union.
“The European Union has been at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19. From day one we have fought the pandemic both at home and abroad. From day one we put solidarity and cooperation at the heart of our response, because it is our firm conviction that nobody is safe until everybody is safe. Today’s delivery of COVID-19 test kits and materials is another visible testimony of the EU’s global coronavirus response. It is also a clear recognition of the remarkable role the African Union has played to lead the continental response to the pandemic,” said Mr. Borrell.
“The cornerstone to preventing any disease is to test, and the key factor in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic is partnership based on sound solidarity principles. The donations by the Government of Germany further demonstrate the solidarity that we have always enjoyed from the European Union and we appreciate their support in fighting this invisible enemy,” said H.E. Mr Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
“This final delivery of life-saving testing equipment to the African Union wraps up the first phase of the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, which has provided crucial support these past months to vulnerable countries amidst the coronavirus pandemic,” said Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management.
The kits will be distributed to African Union Member States, as was done with the previously donated kits, which have helped more than 24 African countries to perform over 700,000 tests.
Stephan Auer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ethiopia and the African Union said: “We can only beat the coronavirus together – worldwide. This is why we are supporting the African Union in cooperation with the EU. We are happy to support the Africa CDC as they coordinate the procurement and distribution of life-saving diagnostics to African Union Member States. With this support to the PACT initiative, we contribute to making testing widely available in Africa.”
In addition to this donation, Team Europe, in partnership with Africa CDC, is contributing to the deployment of rapid responders and community health workers, provision of in-country and virtual training, risk communication and community engagement, and enhancement of preventive measures and surveillance capacities. In June 2020, the EU allocated €10 million to facilitate the deployment of healthcare workers and rapid responders for surveillance, laboratory testing and case management at country level as well as to strengthen other activities of the Africa CDC. Additional support will be mobilized in the coming weeks with strong focus on the most vulnerable groups.
The test kits have been sourced by the German Epidemic Preparedness Team (SEEG). The SEEG was initiated in 2015 by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in response to the West African Ebola crisis. It brings together the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Charité Clinic, the Robert Koch Institute and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine. In addition to providing test kits, the Africa CDC and SEEG are partnering for external quality assessment of reference laboratories, using the provided test kits for benchmarking and accreditation of quality and effectiveness of testing in Africa.
The total Team Europe global response package stands at €36.5 billion, combining resources from the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This support focuses on addressing the immediate health crisis and the resulting humanitarian needs; strengthening partner countries’ health, nutrition, water and sanitation systems and their research, preparedness and response capacities; as well as supporting the alleviation of social and economic consequences of the pandemic. At least €6.8 billion is allocated to supporting countries in Africa as well as a considerable part of the overall Team Europe guarantees of €2.9 billion.
*Source African Union
Africa50 supports COVID-19 response with US$300,000 grant to Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
May 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
The grant will be used specifically for the purchase of test kits and other medical equipment and to mobilize frontline responders
Africa50 has announced a grant of US$300,000 to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. The grant will be used specifically for the purchase of test kits and other medical equipment and to mobilize frontline responders, as highlighted in the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19.
The Chief Executive Officer of Africa50 (www.Africa50.com), Alain Ebobisse, says the grant signals the beginning of a longer-term partnership between Africa50 and Africa CDC on public health issues in Africa.
“As a pan-African entity funded by 28 African shareholder governments, Africa50 is well placed to join Africa CDC and the African Union in their efforts to combat COVID-19 on the continent. We look forward to a longer-term collaboration with Africa CDC to help address the continent’s health infrastructure needs, leveraging each other’s expertise and stakeholder networks. We are fully committed to engaging with our African shareholders and partners in these challenging times,” says Alain Ebobisse.
Africa50 is a pan-African infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa’s growth by developing and investing in high-impact national and regional projects and mobilizing private sector funding. The grant was awarded as part of Phase 1 of the COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative (RSI) of Africa50, which aims to respond to immediate public health needs in Africa.
“The Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 highlights four things: cooperation, collaboration, coordination and communication. This pandemic will be won at the community level and it requires everybody working together with a unique level of cooperation. We particularly acknowledge the grant from Africa50 as a good example of the kind of solidarity that Africa needs from individuals and institutions in Africa,” says Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC.
The Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT): Trace, Test & Track, launched by the African Union Commission in April 2020 has identified well-coordinated actions and strong partnerships at all strategic levels as key to achieving remarkable success in the response to COVID-19 in Africa. PACT aims to support testing of 20 million Africans by the end of 2020 and the deployment of one million community healthcare workers to support contact tracing. This donation contributes to efforts towards accomplishing this very important aspiration of Africa’s Heads of State and Government.
COVID19: African Union in Discussions with Madagascar over herbal remedy
May 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Union is in discussion with the Republic of Madagascar, through its embassy in Addis Ababa, with a view to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of a herbal remedy, recently announced by Madagascar for the reported prevention and treatment of COVID19.
In this regard, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs H.E Amira ElFadil convened a meeting with the Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Madagascar Mr. Eric Randrianantoandro on 30th April at which it was agreed that the member state would furnish the African Union with necessary details regarding the herbal remedy.
Once furnished with the details, the Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will review the scientific data gathered so far on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 Organics. This review will be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence regarding the performance of the tonic.
These developments follow the participation of Madagascar’s President H.E. Andry Rajoelina in a teleconference Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government with the Chairpersons of the AU Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on 29 April 2020, in which he participated as Chairperson of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and where he made a presentation to his peers regarding the herbal remedy.
The teleconference was convened by H.E. President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa, and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), and had the aim of apprising the Chairpersons of the RECs about the actions and initiatives undertaken by the African Union in response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the continent. The meeting also provided a platform for the Chairpersons of the RECs to brief the Bureau about regional measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Africa CDC
Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union which supports Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases.
Statement of the African Union (AU) Labour Migration Advisory Committee (LMAC) on the novel Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 and the condition of African Migrant Workers
April 16, 2020 | 0 Comments
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 16, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The outbreak, in late 2019, of the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and now labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) is redefining humanity in ways we can only know after the virus is successfully defeated. The virus has disregarded status, class, race, religion, nationality, gender, creed and location and businesses, government operations. In addition, the world of work as well as individual and communal lives have been affected in profound and dire ways.
Thousands have succumbed to the virus, and, on behalf of all Members of the AU Labour Migration Advisory Committee, we extend our profound condolences to the families and nations in Africa and the world that have lost citizens and loved ones.We acknowledge and commend the important support and coordination of the efforts of Member States by the Africa Center for Disease Control (Africa CDC) (Africa CDC) and the measures being taken by Ministry of Labour of Member States, the African Union Commission and RECs to address the COVID-19 at the workplace.
The African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee (LMAC) is extremely concerned about the welfare of African migrant workers, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) caught in the cross-fire of this current global health crisis.As countries increasingly adopt sweeping measures, thousands of vulnerable African labour migrants have become stranded in their different countries of work. Some are likely to fall victim to hardship, exploitation, and extortion in their desperate effort to return to their homes and families before the intensification of the on-going global containment measures.
We are also concerned that the majority of migrant workers are most exposed to the possibility of infection, owing to squalid living conditions, inadequate workplace health and safety protection, and little or no social protection coverage. Domestic workers in particular, face a higher level of exposure to the contagion. Many workers across sectors and industries also survive on daily wages and will suffer huge wage losses due to the stoppage of economic activities.
Families and dependents and countries are projected to equally suffer as remittances are hard hit. Recipient families are in dire need of remittances in these COVID-19 hard times, as they help in social expenditures of beneficiary persons, in particular their health.
The Coronavirus pandemic has also adversely affected many business operations in Africa.
There are real threats to the collapse of some businesses and the risk of job losses, including those of migrant workers. It is noticed that the majority of migrant workers are found in the informal economy, most of the time as self-employed offering jobs to nationals in the country of destination, or in agriculture as seasonal workers. Women Cross Border Traders play a significant role in promoting the intra-African trade, contributing significantly to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Given that the social security system does not cover workers in these sectors, migrant workers are left to themselves to face the COVID-19 impact.
The AU LMAC, therefore, calls upon the AUC, RECs, member states, social partners’ organizations and the international community to strategically consider and implement measures to mitigate against businesses collapse, jobs and income losses. In the near future, Member States are encouraged to put in place unemployment insurance plans and to extend social security to workers in the informal economy and rural sectors.
Whilst we are very much encouraged by statements and measures taken so far by several regional economic communities and Member States within the continent to this pandemic, it should be noted, however, that most do not comprehensively take into account the millions of migrants, refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in Africa. Countries can craft strategies on how to incorporate migrants within their COVID-19 responses, using the interim guidance released by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee.
Further, we call on African governments in the post-COVID-19 era to carefully look at and renegotiate the different Labour Migration Agreements that they may have signed with the view of ensuring the enjoyment by migrant workers of adequate health and safety, social protection and portability, and other human and labour rights protections.
Parliaments are essential in framing the right legislative response needed to address the social and economic impact of the COVID-19, including facilitation measures to support workers, employers and the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.We recognize the engagement of the Civil Society Organizations, Workers and Employers Organizations in complementing the efforts of the governments.
Accordingly, therefore, the AU LMAC calls for the pursuit of coordinated and coherent mitigation and recovery measures at the global level. Whilst we note and commend the initiatives by various governments, countries, regions and social partners’ organizations, the failure to adopt a robust and comprehensive global approach may lead to short-term outcomes that may create and exacerbate the vulnerability of many migrant workers.
This is the time for the expression of genuine and practical global compassion and solidarity.
ECOWAS through the West African Health Organization (WAHO) is providing technical and financial support to Member States from its own resources, in addition to assistance from international partners. We commend all other RECs efforts in providing essential support to their respective Member states to prevent and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Finally, we urge all persons, especially IDPs, refugees and migrant workers to observe and comply with the standard public health guidelines for the containment of COVID-19 and other progressive measures by governments. Importantly, we appeal to everyone to avoid fear but to embrace caution.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the African Union Commission.
Mozambique: Government and African Development Bank sign financing for Mueda-Negomano road phase II
April 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Government of Mozambique and the African Development Bank have signed a protocol agreement for a $34 million grant for the paving of the 35-km Nambungali-Roma road to facilitate trade and promote social inclusion of local communities.
Mozambican Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane and Bank Country Representative, Pietro Toigo signed for their respective sides on 24 February. The works form part of the second phase of the Mueda – Negomano Road Project, which seeks to improve transport infrastructure between Mozambique and Tanzania.
The successful completion of the project will complement the recently constructed Unity Bridge to significantly reduce travel time to the ports of Pemba in Mozambique and Mtwara in Tanzania, and boost regional trade and integration between the two countries.
“Bridging the infrastructure gap, particularly to increase national and regional connectivity, is key to the efforts to eradicate poverty and to accelerate economic growth,” Maleiane said.
The project is also expected to foster social inclusion by stimulating employment opportunities along the corridor through sponsored vocational training and promotion of women-led businesses.
The road project will be complemented by ancillary works to increase its social inclusion impact with an additional investment of $2m in community markets, clinics and other social facilities. The Bank will also provide technical assistance to two sector agencies — Administração Nacional de Estradas (ANE) and the Fundo de Estradas (FE), giving them capacity to improve their operations. The Government of Mozambique will contribute $536,000, mainly for resettlement and compensation.
Three Things the G20 must do to support Africa in COVID-19 Pandemic
March 26, 2020 | 0 Comments
Addis Ababa, 26 March 2020 (ECA) – This is a global crisis affecting the whole world. Africa, however, will be hit harder with a heavy and durable economic toll, which will threaten progress and prospects, widen inequalities between and within countries, and worsen current fragilities.
African countries need support in preparing for the health crisis, and for the economic fallout. The measures being taken in Asia, Europe and North America such as physical (social) distancing and regular hand washing will be a particular challenge for countries with limited internet connectivity, dense populations, unequal access to water and limited social safety nets.
In line with the steps being taken across the globe, African countries are preparing for the worst effects of this pandemic.
Here are the three things the G20 must do:
1. Support for an immediate health and human response
a. G20 leaders should support and encourage open trade corridors, especially for pharmaceuticals and other health supplies, as well as support for the upgrade of health infrastructure and provide direct support to existing facilities. This will enable countries to focus on prevention as much as possible and start building curative facilities. Support should be provided to WHO and CDC Africa with funds channelled through the Global Fund, GAVI and others.
b. G20 leaders should support public health campaigns and access to information including through an expedited private sector partnership for internet connectivityto enable economic activity to continue during social distancing measures and to support the effective sharing of information about the pandemic.
2. Deliver an immediate emergency economic stimulus to African governments in their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
a. G20 leaders should announce a US$100 billion (in addition to the $50bn already committed) to fund the immediate health response, social safety nets for the most vulnerable, feeding for out of school children, and to protect jobs. As a proportion of GDP this is consistent with measures taken in other regions. To ensure immediate fiscal space and liquidity, this package should include a waiver of all interest payments, estimated at US$44 billion for 2020.
b. G20 leaders should support a waiver on principal and interest for African Fragile States such as the Sahel, Central African Republic and others who are already struggling with the burden of debt and have limited fiscal space.
c. G20 leaders should endorse for enhanced predictability, transparency and accountability of financial flows so finance ministers can plan effectively and civil society stakeholders can help track flows to ensure reach those most in need.
3. Implement emergency measures to protect 30 million jobs immediately at risk across the continent, particularly in the tourism and airline sectors.
a. G20 leaders should take measures to support agricultural imports and exports, the pharmaceutical sector and the banking sector. An extended credit facility, refinancing schemes and guarantee facilities should be used to waive, restructure and provide additional liquidity in 2020.
b. G20 leaders should support a liquidity line available to the private sector operating in Africa to ensure essential purchases can continue and all SMEs dependent on trade can continue to function.
c. G20 leaders should ensure that national and regional stimulus packages covering private and financial systems include measures to support African businesses through allowing for the suspension of leasing, debt and other repayments to global businesses
*Economic assessments of the impact of COVID-19 presented to the African Ministers of Finance can be found here: uneca.org/vc-covid19-impact-africa
The African Union and the European Union join forces for ensuring peace in Africa
March 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 18, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The African Union Commission and the European Union Delegation to the Africa Union signed the fourth EU Support Programme for the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (EU APSA IV). The signing took place on the margins of the AU – EU Commission to Commission meeting that was held in Addis Ababa on 28 February 2020.
The EU has committed 40.5 million Euro support to APSA-IV intends to, over the next four years, further strengthen the capacity and coordination of APSA components to adapt to emerging security challenges in Africa.
In particular, through the African Peace Facility, the European Union will support activities of the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in the areas of:
- Conflict cycle management, with a focus on Early Warning Systems and the African Standby Force;
- Effective coordination and partnership at all levels within the APSA (including with Civil Society Organizations);
- Engagement with and inclusiveness of youth and children in tackling APSA aspects.
While reinforcing early warning data collection at regional and continental level, and reinforce informed decision making, this new contribution will also contribute to the further operationalisation of the African Standby Force and will reinforce engagement of youth and civil society for peace. It will also tackle some of the new threats to stability on the continent such as terrorism, trafficking and climate change related risks to peace and security.
Speaking on the occasion of the signing of the new Agreement, the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, welcomed the launching of the funding for the Fourth EU Support Programme to the African Peace and Security Architecture (EU APSA IV). The Commissioner, reaffirmed the AU leadership and ownership in promoting peace and security on the continent and expressed readiness to take further actions towards reinforcing synergies and coordination in tackling global challenges through cooperation and partnership.
“The signing of APSA IV is an important milestone in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa and globally as it enables the AU, the RECs and RMs to implement concrete actions and objectives aimed at achieving a conflict-free Africa. Furthermore, this support will enhance the efforts of the AU in realising the vision of Africa to silence the silencing the Guns and create conducive conditions for Africa’s development. Indeed, the APF has been instrumental in the AU peace efforts in various areas, including Darfur in Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic (CAR), among others” stressed, Commissioner Chergui.
Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen, noted:
“We consider it crucial for Europe to continue supporting African-led initiatives and to work together on the financing of African-led peace initiatives. Therefore in a world were crises are becoming more complex and protracted, the fourth EU Support Programme to reinforce the capacities of and cooperation between African Peace and Security Architecture stakeholders (EU APSA IV) represents one of the priorities of the EU cooperation with the African Union”.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the African Union Commission.
Pablo Isla Villar – Programme manager EU Delegation to the African Union – Pablo.ISLA-VILLAR@eeas.europa.eu
Brenda Mofya – Senior Programme Officer, African Union Commission, MofyaB@africa-union.org
For further information please contact:
Ms. Esther Tankou Azaa | Head of Information Division | African Union Commission African Union Commission| E-mail: YambouE@africa-union.org|
African Union’s Commission and the European Commission meet in Kigali
February 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
The European Union and Africa are longstanding strategic partners, whose prosperity and security are closely interlinked. The partnership between Africa and Europe is finally coming of age and it’s time to take it to a new level. Africa wants to take its future into its own hands and Europe needs a strong Africa. Our aspirations coincide. We both want to create good jobs, manage human mobility, drive the digital innovation, reconcile economic growth and the environment, and silence the guns in Africa. We are both ready to play our part to achieve these goals.
In the coming months, our two continents will discuss how to turn these aspirations into reality. This week the African Union’s Commission and the European Commission hold the tenth meeting in our history – as the first milestone in a year that can redefine cooperation between our continents, shortly before the EU presents its new comprehensive Africa Strategy. The goal is for both sides to take their cooperation to a new level in the Africa-Europe Summit in October.
Our two continents are changing fast and the world is much more complex, but with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development or the Paris Agreement we have showed that if Europe and Africa join forces we can help shape a better future for the next generations.
We need a stronger partnership to tackle the key challenges of today, be it the green transition or the digital transformation, attend to the aspirations of our youth and fight inequalities.
Economic growth in Africa continues to outperform that of the other continents: Africa will be home to the majority of the world’s fastest growing economies in the coming years. Business environments are improving and the digital revolution is spreading fast: three in four Africans have a mobile phone, and African start-ups attract investment from all over the world. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement could add a multiplying effect to all these trends.
We owe it to the future generations to leave them a healthy planet. The future will be green or there will be no future. It depends on our collective ability to stop global warming. No place suffers more than Africa from climate change. European Commission is pushing for bold action inside Europe on all these issues. The European Green Deal will make Europe the first climate neutral continent. But solutions will only be sustainable if they are agreed and shared across continents.
Together we can create an economy that works for the people, boosting investment in strategic sectors and investing in the education and skills our youth need to succeed in the labour market. We can scale up the use of digital technologies to improve business, health care and service delivery. And we can do so lowering the carbon footprint in the process. Africa does not have to repeat the same mistakes that other continents did: it can move directly to a new economic model, which is more respectful of the planet and more technologically advanced.
Our cooperation does not start from scratch. Our sister organizations have been working for over two decades. The EU is Africa’s first partner in trade, investment, development assistance and security.
We are working closely together in support of Africa’s initiative to silence the guns by 2020.
Europe has consistently supported African solutions to African problems and has mobilised 3.5 billion euros since 2004 through the African Peace Facility.
This year has to bring about tangible change for Africans and Europeans. The 2020s can be the decade of a new and more mature friendship between our two continents. Together we can build solutions that work for Africa and for Europe alike.
At Pre-Launch Of African Diaspora Development Institute In Maryland-USA, Ambassador Arikana Receives Award For Promoting Pan-Africanism
December 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao former African Union Ambassador to the United States of America has been honored with an award for her firm stand on promoting the Pan-African spirit and driving socio-economic development to the African continent.
She received recognition from Prince Adekoye, Chief Executive Officer of Africa400years.org, a New Jersey-based organization that commemorates and celebrates Africa and Africans in remembrance of 400 years of slavery.
Ambassador Arikana served as the AU ambassador to the US from 2017 right up to October 2019 when she got terminated purportedly due to her strong stance on France occupation hold over its former African colonies, which she shared publicly.
Speaking as she receives the recognition which she dedicated to Pan-African legends before her, the medical doctor and activist reputed for her grasp of public speaking, thanked the African diaspora who turned out for the pre-launch of the African Diaspora Development Institute, ADDI, a body which she added will henceforth be the go-to place for development initiatives in Africa.
Addressing attendees at the soft launch of ADDI a brainchild of hers, the renowned public speaker and educationist cum entrepreneur urged the diaspora to come together and invest in building #TheAfricaWeWant or sit back and watch foreigners do so while ripping millions off their continent.
And to build this Africa, she said it was important they do so via the ADDI, an umbrella African diaspora organization where all Africans in the diaspora ought to convene to build #TheAfricaWeWant by driving healthcare, education and socio-economic development to the continent.
Registered and based in the United States, the institute African office will be situated in South Africa and will also include the putting in place of an African diaspora center of excellence and a Pan-African fund to raise money and invest in the African continent.
“I will not rest unless all Africans raise up to drive our development – the continental agenda of Africa must be driven by children of the continent,” she said categorically as she enjoined all to turn out in February 2020 for the official launching of the continental institute.
Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao was a renowned family medicine doctor in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she has been practicing medicine for the last 25 years. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao is known internationally for her diligent efforts to improve healthcare systems, particularly in countries in Africa, and to promote women’s rights around the globe.
Nearly 20 years ago, at a conference organized by then-Africa Resources, Presidents Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe presented the noted philanthropist with an Achievement Award. This was her first major distinction.
Since 2012, she was the Chair of the African Union-African Diaspora Health Initiative (AU-ADHI) where she was involved in mobilizing the African Diaspora health professionals to assist in addressing the healthcare crisis on the continent of Africa.
In 2015 at the 25th AU Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Chihombori-Quao was one of the fifteen women who received the “Women of Excellence Award” alongside President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Mrs. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi, and Mrs. Winnie Mandela, the former first lady of South Africa, as well as several other prominent and remarkable African women.
African Court begins 55th ordinary session
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has today began its 55th Ordinary Session in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania.
The Judges, among others, will examine over 15 applications and at least nine Judgments are expected to be rendered before the close of the four-week Session on 29 November 2019.
The Session will also discuss the Court’s work plan for 2020 and will be updated on the status of the Court’s permanent premises. The Court currently operates from the premises of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) in Burka area.
The Session is also expected to review the just ended Fourth African Judicial Dialogue in Kampala, Uganda, under the theme: ‘’Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa’’.
The Judicial Dialogue brought about 300 participants, including Chief Justices and the Presidents of Constitutional Courts of the AU Member States, among others.
The Judges will also review the First International Court Forum on Human Rights which preceded the Judicial Dialogue, also in Kampala. The Forum brought together the Judges of the African Court, the Inter-American Court and the European Court of Human Rights and concluded with the Kampala Declaration.
The 10th Extra-Ordinary Session will be held from 2 to 6 November, also in Zanzibar, and among others, will consider some proposals for amendments to the Rules of Court.
The Judges will pay a courtesy call on the President of Zanzibar H.E Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.
Much Ado About Nothing?- AU Pours Cold Water On Furor After Arikana Recall
October 16, 2019 | 0 Comments
-Her successor will build on the solid foundation she has laid- AU Chair Faki
By Ajong Mbapndah L
After suffering a week of acerbic criticisms over the decision to end the tenure of Ambassador Chimbori Arikana as Ambassador to the USA, African Union Chairman Moussa Faki has dismissed as “patently untrue” insinuations that her pronouncements,and opinions predicated the decision.
“Dr Chihombori has maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her opinions,” Ebba Kalondo, Spokesperson for Chairman Faki in a statement issued today.
“Political appointees at the African Union, including Dr Chihombori, are appointed at the discretion of the appointing authority. The duration of such political appointments is also determined at the discretion of that appointing authority,” Kalondo said in the statement.
According to Kalondo, in the course of her three year tenure, the AU Commission never found any reason to sanction Ambassador Arikana over any of her public presence.
“Dr Chihombori has maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her opinions. Therefore to state or suggest that Ambassador Chihombori’s termination of service is due to any pronouncements she has made, or opinions she may have held during her three-year tenure, is patently untrue,” Kalondo said.
The replacement of Ambassador Arikana was normal diplomatic practice for political appointees everywhere, said Faki’s spokesperson, while expressing hope that her successor will build on the solid foundation she has laid.
The decision to replace Arikana triggered a fire storm and some harsh words from her supporters towards AU Chairman Moussa Faki.While some seasoned professionals and Washington connoisseurs were not surprised with the decision to replace the outgoing Ambassador, her partisans thought the decision was engineered by the French government which did not appreciate her straight talk.
While the statement from Chairman Faki may put the controversy to rest, a Change.org petition to reinstate Arikana has so far garnered some 30,000 signatures.
Full Letter from Ebba Kalondo,Spokesperson to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission below.
Communiqué on the end of tenure of Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao, AU Permanent Representative to Washington, DC
Addis Abeba, 15 October 2019: The African Union Commission is aware of reports circulating on social media making claims surrounding the circumstances of the recall of the Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the United States of America, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao.
Political appointees at the African Union, including Dr Chihombori, are appointed at the discretion of the appointing authority. The duration of such political appointments is also determined at the discretion of that appointing authority.
Dr Chihombori received a letter on 7 October 2019 bringing her tour of duty to an end, in line with the terms and conditions governing her contract of appointment, after serving three years as Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the United States of America, and appreciating her contribution to the Union during her tenure. This is normal diplomatic practice for political appointees everywhere.
Dr Chihombori has never been sanctioned by the Commission on any public pronouncements she has made during her three-year tenure and nor has the Commission ever thought the need to do so. On the contrary, Dr Chihombori has maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her opinions. Therefore to state or suggest that Ambassador Chihombori’s termination of service is due to any pronouncements she has made, or opinions she may have held during her three-year tenure, is patently untrue.
We wish our esteemed colleague the best in her future endeavours and trust her successor will build on the solid foundation she has laid.
Spokesperson to the Chairperson of the AfricanUnion Commission
Mixed Reactions Trail Sack Of AU Ambassador to The USA
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
By Ajong Mbapndah L
A few months shy of a third year in office, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao was notified by the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki that her stint had come to an end.
“In line with the terms and conditions of service covering your appointment as permanent Representative of the AU to the USA, I have decided to terminate your appointment with effect from 1st Nov 2019,” read the letter from Chairman Faki to Ambassador Arikana.
Sent from the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 7 October, the letter expresses appreciation to Ambassador Arikana for her constant commitment to African causes, and the great contribution she has made to the continental organization.
In the letter, Chairman Faki expresses confidence that Ambassador Arikana will continue to render services to Mother Africa in future endeavors.
While the decision from Chairman Faki may appear as a routine change considering that others have previously served before Ambassador Arikana, tongues are wagging in Washington,DC , and the decision has not gone down well with some of her partisans.
So furious are her partisans that the unprecedented move of creating on an online petition on Change.Org. Initiated by Prof. Apollos Nwauwa who signed as Secretary of the African Diaspora Union, the petition is calling on the African Union to reinstate Ambassador Arikana.
“Dr. Chihombori-Quao has spoken globally to sensitize and empower all peoples of African Descent to come together and build the “Africa We Want” as adopted in African Union Agenda 2063,” the petition read.
“Not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa. On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries.”
The petition goes further to ask a series of questions surrounding her ouster. “why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism?”
Though no reason was given for the removal of Arikana nor were reasons always given for the departure of some of her predecessors, some of her supporters believe that it may not be unrelated to her hyper activism ,and blunt critique of the colonial legacy that still holds Africa hostage.
Making allusion to a widely circulated video in which she lashed out at the Berlin conference, and fingered the French for its monetary policies that have continued colonization of Africa in a different form, supporters of Arikana believe that AU Chair Moussa Faki may have been pressured by outside forces to terminate her appointment.They point to the fact that the video which was previously posted on the AU website was inexplicably pulled down within three weeks despite the excitement it generated.
Arikana who has not issued a formal statement, was viewed by some Washington players as blurring the line between activism and diplomacy. You are either one or the other, said a source. While he lauded Ambassador Arikana for bringing more vibrancy to the AU Mission in Washington,DC, the source said the activist part of Ambassador was bound to ruffle feathers,in Washington and beyond, and her departure was bound to come sooner or later. Still, the source said he will not like to read so much meaning into the decision to relieve Ambassador Arikana of her duties. Ambassadors come and go, and there is no reason for her to be an exception he went on.Citing the letter from Faki and the dynamism of Ambassador Arikana, the source said there definitely will be plenty of opportunities out there for her to be of high profile service to Africa especially in capacities where diplomatic niceties will not be a burden to her.
“I do not know how the letter that was supposed to be meant for Ambassador Arikana went viral,” said another source from the African -American Community in Washington, DC. She had great passion for Africa and we hope her replacement builds on her successes, he said.
On the profile of the ideal replacement, he said, Chairman Faki could appoint another female Ambassador, someone equally dynamic, with a better understanding of how Africa and Washington work. Washington has its dynamics, and the AU will be better served with the appointment of someone who has a through mastery of these dynamics ,he said.
Meanwhile as of press time, the petition on Change.Org had garnered some 2000 signatures.