President to spearhead Africa’s agenda

THE 24th Session of the Summit of the African Union which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia saw President Mugabe being elected as the new chairperson of the African Union. In his closing remarks, the new chairperson expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the AU Agenda 2063 framework among other decisions which were made for the development of Africa.

The summit which was held under the theme “Women Empowerment and Development Towards Agenda 2063”, saw Cde Mugabe calling for the rededication of the Pan-African ideals of founding fathers for the development of Africa and for AU Members States to implement all the decisions adopted during the summit.

“We have rededicated ourselves to the Pan-African ideals of our founding fathers for the Africa we want, as that is the only way African states will leverage their resources for the benefits of their people,” he said.

Cde Mugabe said women and youth are the greatest asset for Africa hence need to be empowered to realise their dreams.

He called for the removal of Africa’s Heads of States and Government from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Hague-based tribunal which, according to many in Africa has tended to be exclusively used by powerful nations to punish African leaders while leaving Western leaders who, in African eyes, would have committed serious and graver crimes against humanity.

The AU Chairperson further called on the Member States to contribute fully in the decision adopted by the summit on the alternative sources of financing AU’s activities. He also commended the solidarity showed by all Africans during the great mobilisation to combat the Ebola epidemic.

The Assembly recommended the extension of the mandate of the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA): called upon Member States who have not yet done so, to lift all restrictions imposed on Ebola affected countries; requested the international financial institutions and partner countries to cancel the debt of the three affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone); approved the recommendation to urgently convene a Global Conference on the Ebola epidemic; requested the Commission to liaise with all stakeholders in this regard; and appealed to the scientific community to accelerate the search for a vaccine against Ebola.

On the Establishment of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (African CDC)

The Assembly expressed satisfaction with efforts made by the Commission to speed up the process for the establishment of the Centre by mid-2015; approved that the coordination office should initially be at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa and authorised the Commission to undertake the mobilisation of funds from Member States, development partners and the private sector who have already indicated an interest and with experience in the domain.

Regarding the Report of the High level African Trade Committee (HATC) on trade issues.

The Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to launch continental free trade area negotiations in June 2015; and mandated the Chairperson of the HATC in collaboration with the Chairperson of the Commission to engage in high level consultations for the establishment of the CFTA.

On the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The Assembly urged Member States to identify key issues in the post-Bali work programme that facilitate the achievement of Africa’s strategic structural transformation and regional integration agenda.

On African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

The Assembly called upon AGOA-eligible countries to enhance the advocacy to complement the efforts of the African Group of Ambassadors in Washington, USA towards the reauthorisation of AGOA.

On the status of preparations for the 11th African games due to take place in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in September 2015.

The Assembly encouraged all Member States of the African Union to actively participate in the African Games in Brazzaville as a demonstration of solidarity with Congo and a testimony to continental unity.

On the continent-wide solidarity against Boko Haram

The Assembly welcomed and supported the efforts deployed by Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Republic of Benin for having agreed to deploy national contingents and establish a Joint Military Staff Headquarters for conduct of military operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group.

It expressed its high appreciation to the Republic of Chad for the timely intervention to assist the Republic of Cameroon in combating the Boko Haram terrorist group and called on all Member States to render every possible assistance towards defeating the dangerous Boko Haram Group.

On the report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the state of peace and security in Africa

The Assembly welcomed the progress that continues to be made in terms of peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction in the Comoros, Madagascar, with the continuation of the reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.

The Assembly welcomed the completion of the transition in Tunisia, with the holding, in November and December 2014, of presidential election and welcomed the positive developments in Burkina Faso.

The Assembly expressed appreciation to the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and troops and police contributing countries for the excellent work done in the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as to Member States and international partners who have provided logistical, technical and financial support to the Mission.

The Assembly welcomed the steps that continue to be taken towards the full operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). It noted with deep concern that despite the progress made, Africa continues to face serious challenges in the field of peace and security, which undermine socio-economic development efforts, cause catastrophic humanitarian consequences and contribute to project a negative image of the continent.

It reiterated concern at the continued worsening of the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, as demonstrated by the cowardly and dastardly attacks perpetrated by different terrorist groups across the continent, including Al Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistant Army (LRA), Boko Haram, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in the West Africa (MOJWA), al-Murabitun and the Ansar al-Sharia groups.

On the report of the High Level Committee on the Post 2015 development Agenda

The Assembly endorsed the formation and the Terms of Reference of the African Group of Negotiators on the Post 2015 Development Agenda which shall be the single negotiating body acting on behalf of the continent.

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