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African Union to hold emergency meeting on Ebola
September 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Health care workers wearing full body suits burn infected items at the Elwa hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in Monrovia on August 30, 2014 (AFP Photo/Dominique Faget) Health care workers wearing full body suits burn infected items at the Elwa hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in Monrovia on August 30, 2014 (AFP Photo/Dominique Faget)[/caption]

Addis Ababa (AFP) – The African Union announced Wednesday it will hold an emergency meeting next week aimed at hammering out a continent-wide strategy to deal with the Ebola epidemic.

The AU’s Executive Council said next Monday’s meeting, to be held at the body’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, would also “deliberate on the suspension of flights, and maritime and border closures, as well as stigmatisation of the affected countries and their nationals”.

“The council’s emergency meeting has been necessitated by the need to have a common understanding of the Ebola Virus Disease and current status of the response and to come up with a collective continental approach, taking into account the socio-political and economic impact of the disease,” the AU said in a statement.

It said concerns had been raised by some member states that moves by other African nations to close borders and halt flights “could have serious socio-economic and cultural effects, and could ultimately lead to increased suffering”.

More than 1,900 people have died in the Ebola epidemic sweeping through West Africa, the head of the World Health Organisation said Wednesday.

The latest toll represents a significant increase from the 1,552 deaths and 3,069 cases reported by the Geneva-based organisation just days ago.

*Yahoo/AFP

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Africa Will be unbeatable when it speaks with One Voice Says Zuma at Africa House Inauguration
August 4, 2014 | 1 Comments

Left to right Assistant Secretary Greenfield, AU Ambassador to US Amina Ali, and AU Chair Dr Dlamini Zuma Left to right Assistant Secretary Greenfield, AU Ambassador to US Amina Ali, and AU Chair Dr Dlamini Zuma[/caption] African Union Chair Dlamini Zuma painted a rosy perspective of Africa as the continent grapples with current challenges. Speaking at the inaugural reception of Africa House, the name of the African Union Mission in Washington,DC, Ambassador Zuma said, once Africa eventually comes round to speaking in one voice, the continent will live up to its incredible potential. Addressing a full house which included Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Thomas Greenfield, representatives from African Diplomatic Corps, Famed Hollywood Actors like Lou Gossett Jnr, Africans and African Americans, Ambassador Zuma harped on the theme of unity and highlighted the need for Africans to work as one in building a better future. Such a future includes food sustainability, better infrastructure, gender equality and peace, the African Union Chair said. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61u26vOaDcw&feature=player_detailpage#t=20     Drawing inspiration from a poem by Kenya’s Anna Mwalagho and electrifying music presentations by Uganda’s George Okudi, Zuma lauded the talent of young Africans , while lauding the African Union Mission in Washington DC, for providing a place that Africans and their Diaspora friends can call home. In an earlier word of welcome, the African Union Envoy to the USA, Amina Ali, said the African House will serve as home to all from the continent and its Diaspora.  Rich in animation and emotions, the inauguration also had the strong participation of the African Diaspora considered as the 6th Region of the African Union. Prominent attendees at the inaugural reception included the African Union Vice Chair Erastus Mwencha, the USA Ambassador to the African Union Reuben Brigety,  and Mel Foote of the Constituency for Africa Located on Wisconsin Avenue, the African Union Office is an imposing three storey edifice with offices, conference rooms, and a translation booth.  Its inauguration was part of several events taking place as part of the maiden USA-Africa Leaders Summit .  ]]>

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KEY AFRICAN MINISTERS MEETING IS HELD TO CHART THE WAY FORWARD ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTEGRATION
July 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

imagesAfrican ministers in charge of integration are meeting in Ezulwini, Swaziland from 17 to 18th July under the theme, infrastructure and integration in Africa. They were joined at their opening session today by the Right Honourable Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland; African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; Prince Hlangusemphi Dlamini, the Swazi Minister of Economic Planning; and AU Commissioners Drs Elham Ibrahim and Anthony Maruping. The ministers are discussing the theme of infrastructure and integration in Africa. At the end of their meeting tomorrow, they will adopt a ministerial declaration, highlighting among others, strategies and actions to speed up infrastructure development to support regional integration. Integration is one of the key goals under the vision of the African Union and remains at the core of the pan African vision. It forms one of the key pillars of the African Union Commission (AUC)’s strategic plan 2014-2017. It is also one of the key enablers of Agenda 2063[i], which seeks to bring together into one framework, Africa’s continental, regional and national plans. Infrastructure on the other hand is seen as a facilitator of integration; as the hardware without which economic and social development on the continent will remain low. Compared to other continents in terms of measures of infrastructure coverage, Africa is lagging behind and this affects the integration efforts. To ameliorate the situation, the African Union has adopted, among others, the programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). “At regional and continental levels, through the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa and the infrastructure master-plans of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), we seek to connect African capitals and commercial centres through road, rail and ICT, to power our economies and communities through energy projects, including renewable and fossil fuel energy, and to increase agricultural production through irrigation projects, building storage facilities, distribution infrastructure and markets”, said African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma at the start of the ministerial meeting in Ezulwini today. The AU Commission is also in negotiations with interested parties, to construct a high speed railway, which will be the flagship of Agenda 2063. Dr Dlamini Zuma announced that concrete agreements have been reached with the Chinese government to set up a research and development center as well as a training center to ensure successful set up of the high speed railway system. Other partners are welcome to contribute to the project, she added. The AUC Chairperson called on Africa to finance its own development projects and programmes, saying “One of the bitter lessons from the last fifty years is that we cannot continue to develop visions and frameworks, and then expect others to take responsibility for financing our development and institutions”. The Chairperson called on Africa to be inclusive in its development policies. “Our development will continue to be at half pace if we do not empower women to play an important part in the socio, political and economic affairs of our societies”. She also called for a skills revolution to ensure African people, especially the youth, are capacitated to undertake the different jobs that will drive the continent forward. Right Honourable Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland praised Agenda 2063 as representing a collective effort and an opportunity for Africa to regain the power to determine its own destiny. “The voice of Africa is therefore certain as we drive to the Africa we want”, he said. He highlighted the need to invest in trade related infrastructure such as transport, communication and energy sectors. To further aid integration efforts, a continental free trade area (CFTA) is expected to be launched in 2017. Delegates to the meeting were reminded to continue making written inputs into Agenda 2063 through the websitehttp://agenda2063.au.int before 31 October 2014. In January next year, the framework and its first ten year plan will be adopted. The declaration to be adopted by the ministers at the end of their meeting will therefore underscore their determination to speed up the integration agenda in conformity with the pertinent decisions of African Heads of State and Government and the aspirations of African people. This includes support for PIDA to build the infrastructure necessary to support integration. The ministers will make recommendations on the way forward on each of the following topics that are key to infrastructure and integration in Africa: status of integration in Africa and follow up of recommendations from the Sixth Conference of African Ministers in Charge of Integration (COMAIV1); study on the African integration fund; African regional integration index; and on intra African trade and the establishment of the continental free trade area (CFTA). They are also expected to pronounce themselves on the way forward with popularizing and implementing the common African position (CAP) on post 2015 development]]>

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The chairperson of the AU Commission looks forward to working closely with the new AU Panel of the Wise
July 10, 2014 | 1 Comments

images (6)The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, looks forward to working closely with the new members of the AU Panel of the Wise. At their 23rd Ordinary Summit, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on 26 and 27 June 2014, the Heads of State and Government endorsed the proposals she made for the appointment of the five new members of the Panel, who are: – Dr Lakhdar Brahimi, from Algeria, for North Africa; – Mr Edem Kodjo, from Togo, for West Africa; – Dr Albina Faria de Assis Pereira Africano, from Angola, for Central Africa; – Dr Luisa Diogo, from Mozambique, for Southern Africa; and – Dr Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe, from Uganda, for East Africa. The new members of the Panel are due to assume office in September 2014, at a ceremony to be held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. They will seize that opportunity to review and adopt their programme of work. The Chairperson of the Commission is confident that the new members of the Panel will give additional momentum to the AU’s efforts in conflict prevention, building on the work carried out so far. In line with relevant provisions of the Protocol that established the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the AU policy making organs have, over the past few years, repeatedly emphasized the need for renewed efforts towards conflict prevention in Africa. The Chairperson of the Commission seizes this opportunity to pay tribute to the outgoing members of the Panel of the Wise, which was chaired by late President Ahmed Ben Bella. Former President Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Madame Marie Madeleine Kalala-Ngoy, and Dr Mary Chinery Hesse will now become Friends of the Panel. The AU Panel of the Wise is one of the components of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), as provided for in the 2002 Peace and Security Council (PSC) Protocol. The Panel, which was launched in Addis Ababa, in December 2007, is composed of five highly respected African personalities who have made outstanding contribution to the cause of peace, security and development on the continent. They are selected by the Chairperson of the Commission after consultation with the Member States concerned, and appointed by the Assembly of the Union to serve for a period of three years. The Panel is mandated to support the efforts of the PSC and those of the Chairperson of the Commission, particularly in the area of conflict prevention. The Panel may advise the PSC and the Chairperson of the Commission on all matters within their respective competences; carry out fact-finding missions as an instrument of conflict prevention; encourage parties, where appropriate, to engage in political dialogue; and promote confidence-building measures. The Panel may also pronounce itself on any issue relating to the promotion and maintenance of peace, security and stability in Africa. Since its inception, the Panel of the Wise has undertaken a number of thematic reflections on issues relevant to conflict prevention and peace-building, namely: election-related disputes and conflicts; impunity, justice and national reconciliation; women and children in armed conflicts; and democratization and governance. The thematic reflection on election-related conflicts and violence was initiated following the post-election crisis in Kenya in December 2007. The report of the Panel on this issue and its recommendations were adopted in July 2009 by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government. The decision of the Panel to reflect on fighting impunity, along with its relationship to truth, justice and reconciliation in Africa, was taken in November 2008, following renewed debate on this topic. The choice of the topic of women and children in armed conflicts was informed by the empirical evidence, accumulated over decades, confirming that women and children suffer most wherever and whenever there is a breakdown of social order, rule of law and ascendance of violence. The report of the Panel will be submitted in due course to the relevant AU organs. imagesThe decision to devote a thematic reflection to the implications of the popular uprisings in North Africa for the democratization processes in Africa is in response to the request made by the 275th meeting of the PSC, held in Addis Ababa, on 26 April 2011, for the Panel to undertake a comprehensive review of the existing mechanisms relating to democratization and governance in Africa, and make recommendations to it. In addition to its thematic reflections, the Panel of the Wise has undertaken a number of field missions in support of democratization and transition processes on the continent. The Panel of the Wise works closely with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). It has undertaken joint activities with the Committee of Elders of COMESA, the Council of the Wise of ECOWAS, as well as the Secretariats of IGAD, SADC and the ICGLR. In May 2013, the AU Assembly decided to establish an umbrella mechanism called the Pan African Network of the Wise (PANWISE). PANWISE brings together mediation institutions and actors across the continent, with a view to building synergies among all concerned.   About the new members of the Panel of the Wise: The new members of the Panel of the Wise were elected by the AU Summit held in Malabo, on 26 and 27 June 2014. These are: a) for North Africa, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi from Algeria – Mr. Brahimi held senior positions in his country, notably as Ambassador to several countries, from 1963 to 1979, and Foreign Minister, from 1991 to 1993. He also held senior positions in the League of Arab States and the United Nations, including as Special Envoy; b) for West Africa, Mr. Edem Kodjo from Togo. Mr. Kodjo has been Finance and Foreign Minister from 1976 to 1978, as well as Prime Minister, from 1994 to 1996. He also served as Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, from 1978 to 1983; c) for Central Africa, Dr. Albina Faria Assis Pereira Africano from Angola. Dr. Africano has been Minister of Petroleum from 1992 to 1999 and Minister of Industry from 1999 to 2000. She also held the position of Special Advisor to the President for Regional Affairs; d) for East Africa, Dr. Spesiosa Wandira from Uganda. Dr. Wandira has been Minister of Gender and Community Development from 1991 to 1994, Member of Parliament and, from 1994 to 2003, Vice-President of Uganda. She also chaired the African Women Committee on Peace and Development; and e) for Southern Africa, Dr. Luisa Diogo from Mozambique. Dr. Diogo held several ministerial portfolios. She was Deputy Minister of Finance, then Planning and Finance Minister. From 2004 to 2010, she was Prime Minister.  ]]>

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President Obiang Asks for Greater Investment in Agricultural Sector
June 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon[/caption] President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (http://equatorialguineainfo.blogspot.com), asked African countries to invest heavily in their agricultural sector to decrease their dependence on the developed world, ensure food security, and significantly reduce hunger in their countries. He made his remarks at the closing session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union (AU). President Obiang said that Africa should reorient itself to ensure its independence and security of African states through the safe production of its own consumer goods. “Africa cannot be content to continue with the current dependence on the economies of the developed world. Africa is sailing upstream against a dependency that prevents them from moving toward sustainable development. Africa should rethink its relationship with the developed world to reduce as far as possible the gap that prevents access to development,” said Obiang. “The development of agriculture can greatly reduce this dependence,” he said. “Africa can ensure food security and significantly reduce hunger in our countries. Africa should heavily invest in agricultural development to transform itself in order to accelerate growth to increase production and productivity,” said Obiang. President Obiang proposed to the African Union the establishment of a program that focuses on the organization and exploitation of markets to promote trade and food security and to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty. This will also reinforce the fight against climate change and agriculture. He said that Equatorial Guinea is already investing in its agricultural sector. “As part of our diversification plan, Equatorial Guinea currently focuses on [agricultural] production to achieve these goals. It is imperative to ensure the security and stability of our states, since agriculture is the most vulnerable sector in times of instability, war and terrorism.” said Obiang “It’s no coincidence that this session focuses on the issue of agriculture and food security in Africa. We cannot talk about the development of Africa if there is no agricultural development to ensure food security and avoid lifelong dependence on imports of consumer products.” He noted that Africa counts on the support of organizations focused on agriculture and ways to improve the sector, and urged continued support for those organizations. “The African Union must recognize and financially support the structures of non-governmental organizations, businesses and institutions created in Africa to support agriculture, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).” Obiang linked democratic and economic development. “Africa must contribute to a democratic development aimed at achieving economic development of society and the welfare of its citizens. It must be a democracy that seeks conflict reduction, he said.” Obiang also urged his fellow Africans to prioritize South-South cooperation, a cooperation that respects the principles of equality. “The last decade has marked considerable advancements of the African states. Many of them aspire to economic emergence in the near future. Nonetheless, the continent continues to be a victim of endemic diseases and insecurity that require a unified solution of the states.” Obiang said it was a great honor for Equatorial Guinea to host the 23rd African Union Summit at “a moment that is crucial for the world nations as they struggle to find solutions to economic crises, security, hunger and poverty, and climate change that affect the world.” He said,  “The participation of the heads of state and numerous guests in this summit shows the interest and commitment that Africa and its partners have to find solutions to current issues.” A session on agriculture and food security under the slogan “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture, for Shared Prosperity and Improved livelihoods, through Harnessing Opportunities” was held in the afternoon.  ]]>

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AU Says It's Progressing to Military Force by End of 2015
June 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

images (1)Africa is making progress towards a regional military force by the end of next year, a senior African Union official said on Wednesday, as local leaders urged less reliance on foreign intervention. Delays in implementing the African Standby Force (ASF) forced African states to request French intervention to tackle crises last year in Mali and Central African Republic. African officials have voiced skepticism that the 5,000-strong force, under discussion for more than a decade, would be ready by next year’s delayed deadline, prompting African leaders to approve a stop-gap rapid reaction force last year. Smail Chergui, the 54-nation African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, said four of the five regional brigades due to make up the Standby Force were in an advanced state of readiness, including the North African one. At a a meeting to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Peace and Security Council, he said “progress is being made to have [the Standby Force] fully operationalized by December 2015.” The Peace and Security Council was providing analysts to regional blocs in Africa for a continent-wide early warning system for conflicts, aiming at improving prevention, he said. Chadian President Idriss Deby said a series of conflicts across Africa – from South Sudan to Central African Republic – were a reminder its leaders that the continent needed to do more to strength its own security institutions. Ahead of a two-day summit of the African Union, which officially opens on Thursday in the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Deby called for more resources to be channeled into the AU’s Peace and Security Council. “It is time for us to take our destiny into our own hands,” he said, noting the rise of armed Islamist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria presented a new kind of challenge for the continent’s security. However, South African President Jacob Zuma urged closer cooperation between the AU’s Peace and Security Council and the U.N. Security Council, in light of the continent’s limited resources to tackle crises on its own. “We need to do more to address the root causes of conflict on this continent,” Zuma said, urging the African Union to work more on crisis prevention and do work in post-conflict countries to prevent relapses into violence. More than 90 percent of the AU’s peace and security efforts, including its AMISOM mission in Somalia, are funded by external actors such as the European Union and United States. *Reuters]]>

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Ministerial Working Group on Tourism meets in Seychelles to brainstorm on making Africa the preferred destination for tourism in the context of AU Agenda 2063
March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

The African Union Ministerial Working Group on tourism sector development strategy have concluded a two-day brainstorming meeting on 14 March 2014 in Seychelles in view to strategise on how to make an African brand through tourism while attracting visitors to chose Africa as major destination. Key speakers at the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Working Group include, Dr. Elham Mamoud Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union, Mr Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Alain ST Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa and Mr Regis Immongault, Minister of Mines, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Gabon in the presence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles in Addis Ababa, Mr. Joseph Nourrice, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Seychelles, AUC officials and invited guests. Addressing the participants Commissioner Elham Ibrahim recalled that the idea of organizing the Ministerial working group meeting, was initiated and discussed in Seychelles some times ago, between the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles. “For sure, there could not be a better venue for this meeting than this place which embodies the very spirit of tourism of our continent. For me, the name Seychelles immediately creates in my mind, images of all that is beautiful with Africa.”, she noted. The Commissioner underscored that the Ministerial Group Meeting will define the long term aspirations of the continent in the tourism sector. images (1)The African Union Commission, Commissioner Elham Ibrahim said, is in the process elaborating its long term strategy for speeding up development and integration of the continent. “This strategy which envisages Africa’s prosperity in the next fifty (50) years since 2013 is known as the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063. It will be comprehensive and articulate on the aspirations of the African peoples in all their socio-economic endeavors”, she underlined. The Commissioner added that, the African Union Commission is well aware of the huge direct and indirect contribution of tourism to the economies of African countries at both macro and micro levels. (See complete statement of the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy on the AU website: http://www.au.int ). The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles reiterated the need for AU Member States to strengthen the role and place of tourism within the political discourse in Africa so as to build on the African brand by harmonising policies on the tourism sector. Minister Jean-Paul Adam reassured the AU Commissioner that his country will work with the AU Commission to further strengthen this sector to achieve all the dreams expressed in the 2063 agenda. The Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Seychelles, on his part , hoped that the Ministerial working group will prepare a robust long-term strategy on tourism in Africa that will strengthen the role of the private sector and take into account the promotion of air connectivity among other infrastructures within the continent. “It is important for us as Africans to better connect our countries to create shared opportunities”, Minister Alain ST Ange added. He pointed out that Africa has a huge tourism potential in all aspects of the sector such as natural environmental wonders, exotic wildlife and plants, ancient cultures and historic relics. All these have not yet been well exploited and promoted to the extent of generating commensurate benefit to African countries. A presentation on the AU Agenda 2063 was done during the Ministerial Working Group on Tourism. According to the agenda, the Ministerial working group was called upon to identify and implement interventions that are required to optimize the role of tourism as an engine and a catalyst for economic development and growth in Africa. Some examples, within the AU Agenda 2063 framework were highlighted such as: undertaking joint marketing including packaging and promotion of cross-border tourism attractions; promoting joint projects for infrastructure development and investment– for example, promoting African cross-border investment in hotels, airport, roads, ports; capacity building for people working in the tourism industry; and removing tourism visa constraints among others. *SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)/APO]]>

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Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council on Elections in Africa
March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Members of the SADC, Pan African election observers and journalists listen as ZEC chairman Chiweshe speaks in HarareThe Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 424th meeting held on 12 March 2014, was briefed by the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission on elections in Africa during the first quarter of 2014. The briefing focused on upcoming national elections in Guinea Bissau, Algeria, Malawi and South Africa. Council commended the Department of Political Affairs for its comprehensive report on upcoming national elections in Africa during the first quarter of 2014 and requested the Department to submit to it a list of national elections to be conducted in AU Member States during 2014. Council further listened to the statements made by the representatives of Algeria, Malawi and South Africa on the state of preparations of the upcoming elections in their respective countries. In this regard, Council commended these countries for the efforts they are making to ensure smooth conduct of their elections. Council requested the Department of Political Affairs to make quarterly briefings on national elections in Africa to the PSC as part of AU efforts towards conflict prevention on the continent. Council encouraged the Commission to deploy both long-term and short term election observer missions in countries holding elections and to mobilize necessary resources to this end. *SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)/APO]]>

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Newly Established “African Union Foundation” Holds Inaugural Promoters’ Meeting in Addis Ababa
February 5, 2014 | 1 Comments

Following the convening of the African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, the inaugural promoters’ meeting of the newly established “African Union Foundation” was held. The meeting was led by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, who is also the founder as legal representative of the African Union. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission presented, the objectives of the Foundation for voluntary contributions towards financing African priorities at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In attendance were the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the AU Commissioners, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. P.J. Patterson,and first members of the inaugural council and guests. Established by the AU Assembly in May 2013, the African Union Foundation aims to finance African priorities through voluntary contributions. The mission of the Foundation is to “mobilize resources in support of the African Union’s vision of an integrated, people-centered and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and taking its rightful place in the world”. To accomplish this mission, the Foundation will focus on five key programme areas in its first five years: 1) skills and human resource development, 2) women’s empowerment and gender equality, 3) regional integration, 4) youth development and entrepreneurship, and 5) advocacy and support for the African Union. “It is time for Africa to mobilize our own resources in support of our development and take charge of our own destiny,” said Chairperson Zuma. The Foundation will strive to more deeply engage Africa’s private sector, African individuals and communities, and leading African philanthropists to generate resources and provide valuable insight on ways in which their success can accelerate Africa’s development. The issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. The AUC Chairperson called on the participants to act as good will ambassadors to the foundation. *SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)/APO]]>

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Agenda 2063 will be a peoples’ document’ says the Commissioner for Economic Affairs
February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Commissioner while emphasizing the ‘bottom-up’ approach of Agenda 2063 as the feature that distinguishes it from previous developmental frameworks, highlighted the important role member states, stake holders, and more importantly the African People have to play in determining the direction of Agenda 2063 so as to truly take ownership of the developmental framework of the continents next 50 years. The already identified stakeholders are the private sector, African academics, think tanks, planning experts and development specialists, civil society organizations, the Diaspora, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU organs and sections of society such as women, youth and the media. Reporting the outcome of the consultative process in developing Agenda 2063, Commissioner Maruping presented the wish for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, the wish for an integrated continent that is politically united and based on the ideals of Pan Africanism, the wish for an Africa of good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law, the wish for a peaceful and secure Africa, the wish for an Africa with a strong cultural identity, values and ethics, the wish for an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on Women and its youthful composition, and the wish for a strong Africa that is an influential global player and partner as the consolidated aspiration of the continent. The consultative process involved establishing a technical support team for the continental level discussion on Agenda 2063, providing the forum for participants to share the vision, propose goals, milestones, key drivers, and priority actions, undertaking technical analysis and review of national plans, regional and continental frameworks and the identification of the preliminary indicators and base line information as well as the development of guidelines for national and regional level consultations. Commissioner Maruping announced the plan to submit the final draft Agenda 2063 document to the AU Summit in July 2014 and urged the media to encourage citizens to participate fully in the development of the agenda. *AU/APO  ]]>

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African Union Commission Launches the African Union Foundation
February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission launched, today, 1st February 2014 the “African Union Foundation” at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In attendance were the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the AU Commissioners, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. P.J. Patterson, invited guests and personalities. Addressing the participants, Dr. Nkosazana stressed that, although the foundation accepts funds from outside donors, there is need to have alternative sources of financing from within Africa so that Africans can claim ownership of the foundation, “we should begin to fund our development ourselves” she said. Ministers of planning and finance have deliberated on the issue but will discuss further in detail in March, she added. Moreover, the issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. The AUC Chairperson called on the participants to act as good will ambassadors to the foundation. Established by the AU Assembly in May 2013 the African Union Foundation aims to finance African Priorities through voluntary contributions. The Foundation will focus mainly on critical issues in line with agenda 2063. Other priorities that will be funded by the foundation include the development of skills and human resource, women’s empowerment and gender equality, regional integration, youth development and entrepreneurship in Africa. Diversity management is also one of the main issues that will be addressed as it is a very important element for peace and stability. The Foundation supports and is derived from the African Union vision of “an integrated, people centered and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and taking its rightful place in the world”. It is created to accommodate voluntary contribution from African private sector, African individuals, Philanthropic organizations, African Diaspora, companies doing business in Africa and any other donations or contributions. The issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. In this regard, it is deemed necessary for the various players including public, private and civil society to be mobilized to act in partnership to accelerate the pace of integration that has thus far been largely State led. *In Partnership with APO]]>

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Deputy Chairperson of the AUC H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha briefed the press on Institutional Capacity Building
February 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

Mr. Erastus Mwencha Deputy Chairperson of the AUC held a press conference on January 30, 2014 at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. In the briefing he discussed issues related to capacity building and financial independence of the AU and the alternative sources of funding that are being explored. He kicked off the meeting by explaining how capacity should be understood according to the African Union. In his explanation, the first type of capacity concerns having the mandate, structure, and sustainable funding, while the second type is the capacity to develop institutions in Africa that outlive individuals and the last one is the capacity to implement which as he explained includes capacity to mitigate disasters. While talking about the Commission itself, Mr. Mwencha said that different activities are being undertaken to improve internal and external communication, improve systems and methods of engagement to improve stakeholder management and most importantly to strengthen the Commission to be more responsive to the needs of the continent. In order to achieve this, the Deputy Chairperson said a series of actions will be taken, including human resource exercises, increasing the Union’s execution rate, improving communication and corporate governance and work on alternative sources of funding for the AU institutions. In his briefing, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, stressed the need for integration to move forward with the flexibility of taking in member states that are ready, and giving the alternative for the others to join later. As an important driver for the integration, the Commission in collaboration with Council for Infrastructure Development will endeavor to facilitate the implementation of the PIDA projects, aimed at boosting infrastructure and energy. In conclusion, Mr. Erastus Mwencha said that all the actions taken will feed into the new long-term strategic framework for the continent also known as the AU agenda 2063. He also stressed the need for inputs from all stakeholders for its successful completion as the foundation laid in 2014 will set the tone and determine whether a paradigm shift towards the realization of African renaissance is achieved. *Source African Union Commission (AUC)/APO *]]>

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