Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has received a boost in its efforts to promote peace in Africa, with the signing of an agreement with African football governing body CAF, to use the universal appeal of football as a platform to advocate and promote social change in Africa.
Under the deal, the AU slogan, “Make Peace Happen,'' will feature prominently in key CAF events, including its flagship Cup of Nations.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday, AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping thanked CAF for its continued solidarity and commitment to the AU’s efforts in conflict resolution and peace‐building on the continent.
“In Libreville, earlier this year, CAF donated US$200,000 to the AU towards alleviating the suffering of the victims of the drought in the Horn of Africa,” said Ping.
“I also had the pleasure of joining Presidents Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin and Theodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea at the finals of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, to take the ‘Make Peace Happen’ message to football fans around the continent,” he recalled.
For his part, CAF President Issa Hayatou reiterated the confederation's continued commitment to supporting AU’s activities aimed at securing peace and stability on the continent.
“We are delighted to be here at the AU headquarters to formalise our longstanding and cordial relationship,” he said.
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, South African Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Jeff Radebe said his government was ready to work closely with the AU and CAF during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
“As the host, South Africa welcomes this initiative and will provide support where necessary to ensure its success,” he pledged.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 15July2012