Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The African Union (AU) plans to integrate respected elder statesmen in the resolution of conflicts on the continent, interim commission chairman Amara Essy indicated Friday in Lusaka.
Essy said the AU was banking on its Council of Elders, who shall include the celebrated Nelson Mandela and founding fathers the likes of Kenneth Kaunda to help forge peace on the conflict- ridden continent.
He was speaking at the end of a two-day meeting of executives from Africa's six sub regional economic blocs.
"The protocol on conflict resolution and management is already drawn up and what now remains is for member states to ratify it.
When that is done we will use the good offices of our elder statesmen, such as Kaunda and Mandela to resolve conflicts on the continent through negotiation," Essy declared.
In addition the AU plans to enlist regional economic groupings in the area of conflict management and resolution, as these are better acquainted with the situation in their respective jurisdictions.
Essy said AU assistance to peace initiatives at sub regional levels could take the form of troop deployment and mediating dialogue.
Concerning the spread of HIV/AIDS, Essy said the scourge could only be contained if the continent mounted a concerted attack with whatever financial resources were available.
He said rather than go solo, it would be better for African countries to jointly pursue the establishment of common factories for the production of anti-retrovirals and other drugs.
"Instead of each country having a factory, we can have two or three factories to make medicines with which to fight AIDS," Essy reasoned.
At the weekend Essy will be holding consultations with the Health minister of Brazil on how the southern American country could help Africa set up one such factory.