AUC Chairperson joins world leaders to commit to gender equality and women's empowerment
September 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (R) and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (L), head of the African Union Commission[/caption] World leaders have voiced overwhelming support and committed to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment aimed at achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, joined global leaders and delegates to make commitments at a meeting co-organised by UN-Women and the People’s Republic of China in the margins of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. In her remarks, the AU Commission Chairperson said the AU places a central focus on achieving gender parity and women’s empowerment in its Agenda 2063. She pointed out that in Africa, the year 2015 is the year of women’s empowerment and development toward Agenda 2063. She noted that during the last Summit of Heads of State and of Government, a Gender Scorecard was developed to track progress made in achieving gender equality. Dr. Dlamini Zuma committed to refining this tool in the future by including more indicators. The Chairperson noted that while Rwanda is leading the world with the highest number of women represented in Parliament, 22 countries have at least 30% of women in Parliament, while 14 countries have 30% of women ministers, with Cape Verde leading Africa with the highest representation of women ministers. During the gathering, Chinese President Xi Jinping, among others, announced a donation of $10million USD to UN-Women to finance development and training projects aimed at promoting gender parity and women’s empowerment. While leaders announced various contributions and donations, some of the world leaders expressed political will and determination in advancing the course for women’s empowerment and gender parity. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said progress for women is progress for us all, and the whole world stood to gain from gender equality. Holding 20 years after the Beijing declaration and platform for action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, the meeting was attended by UN Member States, Non-Governmental Organisations, the private sector and partners. *APO]]>
AUC signs MOU with partners on the implementation of the African Water Vision 2025
September 25, 2015 | 0 Comments
Tumusiime Rhoda[/caption] Within the framework of partnership meeting for implementing the African Water Vision 2025, the African Union Commission (AUC), through its Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with CLTS-Foundation, Water Aid, Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA), Sustainable Sanitation Design (Susan Design), and Norges Vel. It was took place on 21 September 2015 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The AUC and the partner organizations signed the MoU on different areas of collaboration to facilitate the realization of the Africa Water Vision 2025 through revitalizing efforts to create an enabling environment for international cooperation to achieve the 2025 vision. H.E Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC stated that strategic ways of sanitation management is on top of the African leadership agenda. While emphasizing the sound implementation of the MoU signing, Mr. Bai-Mass Tall representing the President of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), also said that water and sanitation issue should be priority equally to other matters around the continent. The meeting discussed issues related to the AU Water and Sanitation Initiatives that were presented by the Commission and which include: (i)- the Kigali Action Plan (KAP) that is in progress and already championed by the Government of Rwanda; (ii)- the Operation 2M4M as scaling up of the KAP to all AU member States, that will allow massive interventions for access to water supply facilities to 110 million Africans, and sanitation facilities to 220 million Africans; (iii)- the African Clean Village Programme for large sanitation communities led total sanitation to 250 million Africans mostly in rural areas in Africa; and (iv)- the Pan African Productive Sanitation Programme that aims at developing mechanism for private sector involvement for large scale interventions for reusing waste in agriculture and energy in order to contribute to better solve problem faced by: energy, water resource management, infrastructure, industry, climate, and air pollution sectors. The meeting was attended by AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture; AMCOW President; development partners; diplomatic corps; and AUC staffs. While the importance of this kind of partnership has been stressed by the Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to successfully approach the holistic problems of water and sanitation in Africa, call was made to development partners to give equal attention and strengthen support to development issues including water supply and sanitation on the continent. For H.E Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, the pursuit of the Africa Water Vision 2025 is not an option especially given the need to unleash Africa’s development. *APO/AUC]]>
Cameroon ready to host the Pan African University Rectorate
September 25, 2015 | 0 Comments
The Government of Cameroon has indicated its readiness to host the Pan African University (PAU) Rectorate, which is currently located at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Minister of Basic Education Adjidja Yusufa Alim, made the revelation in a meeting with the President of the PAU Council, Professor Tolly S. Mbwette, and other PAU Rectorate staff, who were on a two-day official mission to Yaounde. The PAU team also held discussions with the Cameroonian Prime Minister and Ministers of Higher Education, External Relations, as well as State Property and Land Tenure, on the modalities of relocating the Rectorate to Yaounde, and on deepening cooperation between the Cameroonian higher education sector and the Pan African University. The PAU officials were led on a tour of the temporary Rectorate building in Yaounde and the site for the construction of the permanent Rectorate complex. Following the discussions, the two parties agreed on a six-month roadmap, which will lead to the final relocation of the PAU Rectorate to Yaounde. Cameroon was designated host of the PAU Rectorate by the January 2015 Summit of the African Union, following a competitive bidding process involving five Member States. In a similar development, officials of the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, the PAU Rectorate and a team of African academics have concluded a five-day curriculum review and development seminar at the PAU Institute for Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAUGHSS) in Yaounde, Cameroon. More than thirty social science and curriculum experts from across Africa and the African diaspora were involved in the exercise, which sought to reformulate curricular for the existing Masters in Translation, Interpreting, and Governance and Regional Integration programs at PAUGHSS. The seminar was also intended to develop curricular for new PhD programs the institute plans to introduce in the 2015-2016 academic year, and to explore the pedagogic use of the UNESCO volumes of the General History of Africa, to revitalize the common African History module being offered at all PAU institutes. The experts emphasized the need to formulate African education curricular taking into account the African perspective, and embed the PAU’s programs with relevant courses that reflect the continent’s collective past and current development agenda. *APO/AUC]]>
AU Reads Riot Act To Coup Perpetrators in Burkina Faso
September 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Communiqué of the 544th PSC meeting on the situation in Burkina Faso The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 544th meeting held on 18 September 2015, adopted the following decision on the situation in Burkina Faso: Council, 1. Takes note of the briefing provided by the Commission on the situation in Burkina Faso; 2. Recalls communiqués PSC/PR/COMM(CDLXV) and PSC/PR/COMM (CDLXVIII) on the situation in Burkina Faso, adopted at its 465th and 468th meetings held on 3 and 18 November 2014, respectively, by which the AU expressed its support to the transition process initiated in November 2014, following the adoption of the Transitional Charter and the establishment of transitional institutions, on 16 and 17 November 2014, respectively; 3. Expresses its appreciation to the Chairperson of the Commission for the steps taken to support the transition process, including through the establishment, jointly with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN), of the International Support and Follow-up Group for the Transition in Burkina Faso (GISAT-BF). Council commends the GISAT-BF for its efforts, and expresses its appreciation to ECOWAS and the leaders of the region, as well as to the UN and other members of the international community, for their support for the Transition. Council notes that, thanks to the commitment of the Burkinabe stakeholders and the support of the international community, the Transition in Burkina Faso, despite various challenges, has made remarkable progress, thus creating conditions for the holding of presidential and legislative elections on 11 October 2015 and of local elections in January 2016; 4. Recalls the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, as well as those of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, on the total rejection by the AU of unconstitutional changes of Government; 5. Expresses its deep concern about the prevailing situation in Burkina Faso, marked by the kidnapping and unlawful detention, since 16 September 2015, of the President of the Transition, Mr. Michel Kafando, the Transitional Prime Minister, Mr. Yacouba Isaac Zida, and some members of the Government, as well as by the military coup d’état that took place on 17 September 2015. Council strongly rejects the persistent actions by elements belonging to the Régiment de sécurité présidentielle (RSP) to derail the Transition process, which constitute a serious threat to peace, security and stability in Burkina Faso, the region and the continent as a whole; 6. Endorses the joint press release issued by the AU, ECOWAS and the UN on 16 September 2015, strongly condemning the kidnapping and the coup d’état perpetrated by elements of the RSP and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages, as well as the press statement issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on 17 September 2015, reiterating the demand for the release of the transitional authorities, condemning the seizure of power by the military, and calling for concerted international efforts to reverse the coup d’état. Council also welcomes the statements made by the UN Security Council, as well as by the European Union (EU) and AU bilateral partners, condemning the coup d’état and calling for a return to the status quo ante; 7. Strongly condemns the kidnapping and unlawful detention of the President of the Transition, Mr. Michel Kafando, the Transitional Prime Minister, Mr. Yacouba Isaac Zida, and of some members of the Government, and stresses that these actions constitute a terrorist act which should be dealt with as such by the entire international community. Council also strongly condemns the announcement by the military of the “dissolution” of the transitional institutions and the assumption of power by the army. Council totally rejects this announcement and underlines that the latter and all the measures taken by those who seized power by force in Burkina Faso are null and void. Council stresses that the AU shall neither recognize nor support any process conducted outside the Transition launched in Burkina Faso in November 2014, and therefore demands a return to the status quo ante; 8. Strongly condemns the repression carried out by elements of the RSP against the population, causing several deaths and injuries, and demands an immediate end to these acts. Council expresses its full solidarity with the people of Burkina Faso in these difficult circumstances, presents its condolences to the families of the victims of this repression and wishes speedy recovery to the injured; 9. Stresses that the perpetrators of the kidnapping of the transitional authorities and of their overthrow, as well as the elements involved in the repression against the demonstrators, shall be held accountable for their acts before the relevant national and international jurisdictions; 10. Demands the immediate and unconditional release of the President of the Transition, Mr. Michel Kafando, the Prime Minister, Mr. Yacouba Isaac Zida, and other members of the Government; 11. Decides to suspend, with immediate effect, the participation of Burkina Faso in all AU activities, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act and of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; 12. Further decides that the following measures against the perpetrators of the coup d’état shall automatically enter into force, if the status quo ante is not restored within 96 hours from the adoption of the present Communiqué: (i) travel ban and asset freeze on all members of the so-called “National Committee for Democracy” put in place by the perpetrators of the coup d’état and of any personality who would participate in any Government that they may establish. Council requests the Commission to circulate the list to all Member States and international partners as of the expiration of the deadline set above, and to update it regularly to include the civilian supporters of the military junta; (ii) qualification of senior officers of the RSP involved in the kidnapping of the President of the Transition, the Prime Minister and some members of the Government as terrorist elements, within the framework of the OAU 1999 Convention on the Prevention and Combatting of Terrorism and its 2004 Protocol. In this respect, Council requests the Commission to immediately compile a list, which will include members of the junta, and to circulate it to all Member States, as well as to the international partners, at the expiration of the deadline set above; (iii) initiation of the required consultations with the relevant AU and international institutions, with a view to bringing to justice the perpetrators of the unconstitutional change, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; (iv) launching of consultations with the West African Monetary Union (UEMOA), with a view to denying the de facto authorities access to the resources of the West African State Central Bank (BCEAO), as was the case in the management of similar crises in the region; and (v) request to all bilateral and multilateral partners to suspend all military and security cooperation programmes with Burkina Faso, as well as economic cooperation programmes, on the understanding that everything must be done to minimize the impact on the civilian population; 13. Expresses its determination to consider additional measures that are likely to expedite the achievement of the objectives set above; 14. Also expresses its support to the ongoing ECOWAS efforts undertaken by its Chair, President Macky Sall of Senegal, to expedite the restoration of the status quo ante, within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture; 15. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to urgently establish a Panel of Experts to assist Council and the Commission in the monitoring of the implementation of the measures mentioned above and to seek international support, as may be appropriate, to ensure the effective functioning of this Panel, as well as to convene, in consultation with ECOWAS and the UN, a meeting of the GISAT-BF, in order to facilitate close international coordination and the implementation of the measures outlined in paragraph 12 above; 16. Emphasizes that the repeated interferences of the RSP in the transition process have highlighted the need for an in-depth reform of the defense and security sector in Burkina Faso, based on modalities to be agreed upon among all concerned actors. In this regard, Council requests the Commission, on the basis of the AU Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform, to work on the modalities of an AU contribution to this process; 17. Requests all Member States to scrupulously implement the measures mentioned above, bearing in mind their obligations under Article 7 (paragraphs 3 and 4) of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, which stipulates that Member States agree that, in carrying out its duties under the Protocol, Council acts on their behalf and that Member States agree to accept and implement the decisions of Council in accordance with the AU Constitutive Act; 18. Requests all international partners, including the EU and its Member States, the UN Security Council and other international partners, to fully support this Communiqué and the implementation of the measures contained in paragraph 12 above; 19. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to take all the necessary measures for the implementation of this Communiqué and to transmit it to the UN Security Council and other concerned international partners, for their information and action as appropriate; 20. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter. *AUC]]>
China donates USD1.2 million to support the AU Mission in Somalia
September 9, 2015 | 0 Comments
Commissioner Chergui expresses appreciation for China’s strategic partnership for peace in Africa [caption id="attachment_20522" align="alignleft" width="300"] China’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and AU Gu Xiaojie with AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Smail Chergui[/caption] The Government of the People’s Republic of China has donated USD 1.2 million to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The grant documents were signed at AU Headquarters, on 07 September 2015, by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Smail Chergui, and China’s Permanent Observer to the African Union, Amb. Kuang Weilin. Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner Chergui thanked the Chinese Government for the grant and recalled, with gratitude, that in September 2014, China donated USD two million to support the AU’s efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and in January 2015, China again donated USD 1.2 million to the AU Peace Fund. On behalf of the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Commissioner re-stated Africa’s sincere appreciation for China’s strategic partnership for peace, security and stability in Africa. “This latest grant will help enhance the heroic efforts of Africa’s soldiers for peace in Somalia,” he added. On his part, Ambassador Kuang Weilin reassured Commissioner Chergui that China will continue to stand with Africa, as the continent strives to rid itself of conflict and achieve sustainable development and prosperity for its people. The Commissioner and the Chinese Ambassador exchanged views on a wide range of current peace and security situations and issues in Africa, including international efforts to resolve the conflict in South Soudan. AUC]]>
The African Union Commission signs an MoU with Earls Media for the promotion of Sports personalities in Africa
September 9, 2015 | 0 Comments
“Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E Dr. Mustapha Kaloko, signing an MOU with Earls Media at the African Games in Brazzaville for the promotion of African Sports personalities“Pic Credit AUC[/caption] The African Union Commission and Earls Media signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Saturday 5th September 2015 aiming to promote sports personalities in Africa. The signing ceremony took place in Brazzaville in the framework of the 11th Edition of the African Games between the AUC Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko and the Director of Earls Media, Mr. Olive Banwo Olajide. The purpose of this MoU is to provide a framework for cooperation in the promotion of sport development in Africa through the recognition of outstanding personalities in sport and rewarding of sporting legends in Africa, the encouragement of sport celebrities to give back to their communities as well as the promotion of social responsibility activities such as HIV/AIDS advocacy in sports, sport for development and peace, youth empowerment, humanitarian causes, stopping violence against women, and communication of key AU messages. H.E Dr Kaloko described the MoU as an excellent opportunity to publicize African sports celebrities who are not well known by the younger generation on the continent. Moreover, he highlighted that the partnership will contribute to build a strong narrative on sport legends through a new lens in line with African realities. In the same vein, the CEO of Earls Media welcomed this new step between Earls Media and the AUC and reiterated the commitment of his organization to support the commission in its efforts to empower African youth through sports. The duration of the partnership is five (5) years and it shall be renewable by mutual consent of the parties six (6) months prior to its expiration. Earls Media is an entertainment/sports events management outfit headquartered in Manchester, United Kingdom and Lagos, Nigeria *AUC]]>
CURTAIN RISES ON AFRICA’S PREMIUM SPORTING EVENT AS THE AFRICAN UNION OWNED AFRICAN GAMES ARE OFFICIALLY OPENED IN BRAZZAVILLE
September 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
On September 4th in Brazzaville Congo, the curtain rose on what promises to be a memorable and historic event for the continent, the 11th Edition of the African Games. Brand new infrastructure, including the hugely impressive Kintele stadium and sporting complex, and bright banners (including those of the African Union), added to the anticipation of what was to come.
The AU delegation to the games was headed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma accompanied by the Commissioner of Social Affairs Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko and the Commissioner of Human Resources Science and Technology Dr Martial de Paul Ikounga. President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo was honoured with the presence of his regional counterparts who joined him and his people to launch Africa’s premium sports tournament, owned by the African Union.
Brazzaville was abuzz with excitement. Spectators dressed variously in Congolese national dress, African Union t-shirts and caps, and other attires filled the stands, blowing vuvuzelas, horns and beating drums. These games are, in a sense, a homecoming. Exactly fifty years ago, in 1965, the first edition of the Games was hosted in Congo. Back then there were only 29 participating countries with 2,500 athletes. But on September 4, 49 participating countries with 6500 athletes took part in the opening ceremony.
The ceremony itself was marked by much fanfare. It included the raising of flags of each of the participating countries, singing of anthems (including the AU anthem), arrival of the Games Mascot and playing of the theme song, parade of participants, and salute of the head of state by the competitors. Able bodied and disabled athletes alike did one round around the stadium before taking up their place in the center. It was a grand view as wave after wave of athletes, wearing their national team colours and proudly waving their national flags, entered the stadium to the applause of their supporters. It was a grand African tapestry of green, yellow, white, black, gold, brown, blue and red; the dressing ranging from tracksuits to traditional wear and even the more formal wear of dress suits and trousers and waistcoat. The biggest applause was naturally, reserved for the host country team which brought in the rear, with hundreds of athletes who took their time round the stadium to soak in the atmosphere and salute their leadership and country men and women.
In her opening remarks, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission said sport is one of the vehicles of achieving Agenda 2063. Dr Dlamini Zuma recalled that it was Congo which, in 1965, hosted the very first edition of the African Games, making this 11th edition, the 50th anniversary of the games. “Today the African games return to their birthplace. Sport has a place to contribute to the achievement of the African vision of prosperity, peace and integration”, said Dr Dlamini Zuma. On behalf of the African Union, which owns the games, the Chairperson thanked all the organisers and volunteers who have worked behind the scenes to put the games together. She wished all the athletes the best in their endeavours throughout the 11 day tournament.
Dr Dlamini Zuma then had the honour to introduce H.E Dennis Sassou Ngueso, President of the Republic of Congo to declare open the 11th Edition of the 2015 African Games, who after a few remarks officially opened the games. Thereafter the Chairperson of the African Union Commission handed over the flag of the African Union to the mayor of the city of Brazzaville. Representatives of the athletes and the officials were called upon to make vows on behalf of their constituents, to uphold the values and regulations of the games.
Thereafter the crowd was treated to entertainment, with a heavy infusion of African rhumba music and drum beats. Young Congolese put their martial arts skills on show, while a beautifully choreographed show promoted the virtues of conserving natural resources. The Games flame arrived; brought in by a runner. Spectacular fireworks brought the curtain down on an exciting day, their booming sound as they exploded reverberating across the Brazzaville night sky, and reminding those that did not attend the show, of the great significance of the day. From the 5th of September, the athletes took over, competing in 22 sporting codes. Africa’s premium sporting talent will be on display for the whole continent to watch and appreciate, till the 19th of September when the games will come to an end.
AUC Chairperson Dr. Dlamini Zuma welcomes new AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
September 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Dlamini Zuma[/caption] The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, warmly welcomes and extends her best wishes to the new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina who assumed office on 1 September, 2015. “It is my great pleasure to welcome you as President of the African Development Bank. Congratulations, once again, for your brilliant election during the last Annual Meeting of the Bank in May 2015. I look forward to working with you, and strengthening the productive relationship our two institutions have cultivated over the years. I wish you the very best of success, as we work together to make Africa a much better place for our people.” Dr. Dlamini Zuma wrote to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina as he begins his five-year mandate at the helm of the AfDB. [caption id="attachment_20434" align="alignright" width="300"] Adesina[/caption] The AUC and AfDB have a long history of collaboration, crowned in their joint efforts towards the creation and articulation of Agenda 2063, Africa’s fresh roadmap toward integration, the building of prosperity, sustainable growth and development. Dr. Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, is the 8th President of the African Development Bank and the first Nigerian to be elected to the position. He succeeded Rwanda’s Dr. Donald Kaberuka, who held the position for 10 years. *AUC/APO]]>
11th AFRICAN GAMES – BRAZZAVILLE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 04-19 September, 2015
August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
The 11th Edition of the African Games is scheduled to take place on 4th to 19th September, 2015, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. This edition will mark the 50th Anniversary of the African Games, since the 1st edition in 1965 that was also hosted by the Republic of Congo. Approximately 7000 athletes from 50 African countries will converge back to the birth place of the African Games in Brazzaville to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the African Union in the spirit of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
This edition is also a milestone for the AU as it is the first one under the auspices of the African Union as the owner of the Games, following the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) as well as the integration of the functions of the SCSA into the AU. The integrated functions of the SCSA include the ownership, coordination and organization of the African Games.
The opening ceremony will take place on 4th September, 2015, and will be presided over by H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, and attended by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, H.E. Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs and H.E. Martial de Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology. The African Games will be preceded by the Bureau Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committees on Youth, Culture and Sport and a Sub-Committee of the STC Ministers of Sport on 3th September, 2015.
During the games, the AU will rally the continent around the spirit of Pan-Africanism through its key message i.e. “I am African, I am the African Union” and through its 50 year Agenda 2063 development framework. Agenda 2063″ is an approach to how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, so as to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years. The agenda will assist the continent achieve its vision, i.e. an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
“Because of the power of sport, we see this event as an important milestone on the road to achieving the objectives of our continental vision and action plan, which Africa has christened Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want”, said AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)
The African Union calls for restraint and a sense of responsibility in Madagascar
June 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is closely monitoring the evolution of the situation in Madagascar, after the decision issued, on 12 June 2015, by the High Constitutional Court (HCC), following the resolution for the impeachment of the President of the Republic, filed on 27 May 2015 by the Malagasy National Assembly. The Chairperson of the Commission recalls that at the AU Summit which ended in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 15 June 2015, the Heads of State and Government, having reaffirmed their support for the efforts towards stabilization and socio-economic recovery in Madagascar, requested all the Malagasy political stakeholders to respect the decision of the HCC and to work toward the creation of the climate of stability necessary for Madagascar to continue to benefit from international support. The Summit also called on the Malagasy political stakeholders to exercise restraint, in order to allow the proper functioning of the institutions of the country. The Chairperson of the Commission echoes the appeal of the Summit and the statement made, on 13 June 2015, by the International Support Group for Madagascar (GIS-M), chaired by the AU. She urges the Malagasy political stakeholders to demonstrate a high sense of responsibility and to spare their country a new cycle of instability, which could only complicate the mobilization of the support that Madagascar needs for its socio-economic recovery, after several years of crisis. She emphasizes the imperative of stability and of the proper functioning of the Malagasy institutions, as well as the duty of all Malagasy actors to contribute to the consolidation of the gains made within the framework of the crisis exit process in their country. In this regard, she reiterates the AU’s support to the Malagasy institutions and people. The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is closely monitoring the evolution of the situation in Madagascar, after the decision issued, on 12 June 2015, by the High Constitutional Court (HCC), following the resolution for the impeachment of the President of the Republic, filed on 27 May 2015 by the Malagasy National Assembly. The Chairperson of the Commission recalls that at the AU Summit which ended in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 15 June 2015, the Heads of State and Government, having reaffirmed their support for the efforts towards stabilization and socio-economic recovery in Madagascar, requested all the Malagasy political stakeholders to respect the decision of the HCC and to work toward the creation of the climate of stability necessary for Madagascar to continue to benefit from international support. The Summit also called on the Malagasy political stakeholders to exercise restraint, in order to allow the proper functioning of the institutions of the country. The Chairperson of the Commission echoes the appeal of the Summit and the statement made, on 13 June 2015, by the International Support Group for Madagascar (GIS-M), chaired by the AU. She urges the Malagasy political stakeholders to demonstrate a high sense of responsibility and to spare their country a new cycle of instability, which could only complicate the mobilization of the support that Madagascar needs for its socio-economic recovery, after several years of crisis. She emphasizes the imperative of stability and of the proper functioning of the Malagasy institutions, as well as the duty of all Malagasy actors to contribute to the consolidation of the gains made within the framework of the crisis exit process in their country. In this regard, she reiterates the AU’s support to the Malagasy institutions and people. *APO/AU]]>
Barred Mugabe 'can travel to EU as AU head': official
February 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace greet delegates at the conference of his Zanu-PF party in Harare on December 4, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jekesai Njikizana)[/caption]
“This ban will be lifted when he is travelling under his African Union chairmanship capacity,” European Commission spokeswoman Catherine Ray said.
Asked if that would also apply to Mugabe’s wife if she accompanied him, Ray said she would have to check.
The EU issued a special invitation for Mugabe to attend the EU-Africa summit in Brussels last year but he turned it down in disgust when his wife Grace was denied a visa to travel with him.
The European Union hit Mugabe and his government with an arms embargo, plus a travel ban and asset freeze in 2002, citing serious rights violations.
The EU has recently eased some of the measures in the hope of normalising relations with Harare but Mugabe, at 90 Africa’s oldest head of state, and his wife remain on the banned list.
Mugabe is well known for his uncompromising stance towards the West and the colonising powers he blames for many of Africa’s ills.
Taking up the one-year rotating AU chairmanship last week, Mugabe said he cared little for what the West might say.
Mugabe said that he and his country had been under sanctions for over 10 years. “If they want to continue it’s up to them but these sanctions are wrong.” At the same time he added: “If Europe comes in the spirit to cooperate and not the spirit to control us and control our ways, they will be very welcome.”*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>
No strings attached: African Union seeks financial independence
February 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
By Karim Lebhour*
“Over 70 percent of our budget is foreign funded. This is not sustainable,” said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who during the summit was appointed to the AU’s rotating chair — certain to raise eyebrows among key donors who have sanctioned him for political violence and intimidation.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has also been embroiled in a stand-off with the West after being charged by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, also said the dependence on foreign financing was a “profound handicap and an impediment to the continent’s momentum”.
“Depending on external funding for the union’s budget is simply unacceptable,” he said during Friday and Saturday’s summit, calling for Africa to assert “its independence and sovereignty more robustly”.
At present, the 54-member bloc sources only 28 percent of its half-billion dollar operational budget from its own members. In addition it has to source an additional $750 million for peacekeeping operations — with the funding gap filled mostly by the European Union, United States, World Bank, China and Turkey.
– Donor conditions –
The bloc is now proposing a $10 tax on flight tickets to and from African destinations, plus a $2 dollar tax on each night spent in a hotel. It is estimated that the levies will pull in $730 million dollars a year.
An additional half-a-cent tax on SMS exchanges would bring in $1.6 billion, according to AU officials, who are hoping to see the bloc able to fund its operations and projects to the tune of 65 percent by 2016.The anticipated windfall would shake off institutional aid dependency and ease pressure on key donors Libya and Egypt, which cannot afford to contribute at the same levels as before. “We should be able to take our decisions freely,” said Francine Muyumba, head of the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU).
“In case of emergencies like Ebola, we need to have the means to intervene quickly and without having to wait for foreign money. Money from donors always comes with strings attached.”
Whether the plan takes off, however, remains to be seen — even as AU members will additionally have to respect a new, higher threshold for contributions calculated on the basis of their GDPs.
While African heads of state agreed in principle to the proposals, the application of the taxes will be initially on a voluntary basis — leaving each member state with the choice of slapping the new taxes on their citizens and visitors.
The proposals, drawn up by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in May 2013, have been criticised by many member states as punishing for their tourism sectors and unduly sparing of the oil and mineral sectors.*Source AFP/Yahoo