Ethiopia: AU Summit leaders impressed at growth of democracy in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - African leaders met for the first time on Saturday in several months to review the progress of democracy in five member states taking part in the good governance platform, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which got a new boost with Namibia’s membership.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who received wide praises from fellow African leaders for taking the lead in the revival of the APRM, said African states “made significant progress towards achieving its vision of democracy through the conduct of successful elections and political transitions".

“Positive developments occurred in Africa with successful elections in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda. We have demonstrated that we can manage our governance processes peacefully and credibly in spite of the negative views that came previously from outside our continent,” Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader took note of the progress on several fronts including the massive improvement in healthcare provision, which has resulted in few women dying from birth-related complications.

President Kenyatta also noted the growth in renewable energy development in Kenya and South Africa as evidence of Africa’s rise on all fronts towards its economic and social development.

Speaking ahead of the main Summit of the AU, the 28th regular session, which is expected to elect the new Chairperson of the AU Commission, the Chairman of the Summit and eight new commissioners, President Kenyatta said Africa also made greater progress in the field of technology.

The 28th Summit has dedicated itself to the discussions on the measures required to advance the status of the youth by harnessing their potential benefit from economic growth and social development.

Kenyatta said these developments would occupy more space in June, when the Heads of State meet to review the Summit theme, "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend."

President Idriss Derby, the AU Chairman, said this year’s Summit was being held against the backdrop of a difficult economic environment.

President Derby hailed the APRM of providing a continental platform for good governance, which would see countries such as Senegal, Djibouti, Chad and Sudan present their cases for review.

President Derby noted that the discussions on measures required to deepen democracy in Africa was the outcome of a “serious and methodical work” undertaken by the APRM secretariat.

During the APRM Summit, the Namibian President Hage Geingob, expressed the hope that Windhoek’s participation in the continental good governance platform would accelerate its achievement of the goals outlined in the AU’s Agenda 2063, which aims to deepen democracy and quicken economic growth.

“We, the people of the land of the brave have voluntarily decided to accede to the APRM. We pledge to make the process a success,” President Geingob said.
-0- PANA AO/MA 28Jan2017

28 january 2017 19:06:41

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