Malawian President is new AU chairman, pledges Africa's farming revolution

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika took over t he rotational chairmanship of the African Union (AU) Sunday, urging African leaders to embark on an agricultural r evolution to feed the hungry.
Mutharika rallied African leaders to make a pledge that no African child would d ie of starvation within the next five years, if the continent adopted a new agricultural approach.
Libyan leader Mouammar Kadhafi handed over the chairmanship to Mutharika and too k his seat in the front rows at the hall where African leaders are holding their 14th ordinary assembly in Addis Ababa, E thiopia.
The Libyan leader expressed his dissatisfaction with the crop of African leaders and the elite, whom he described as lacking the political ambition to push Africa towards success.
But in his acceptance speech, President Mutharika emphasised that Africa was not a poor continent, even though population was poor.
â?Africa faces endemic food shortages, the problem of climate change, gender im balance, poverty and disease,â? the new AU Chairman noted, saying those challenges had slowed down Africaâ?s effort to develop.
â?We need food storage facilities, roads and railway networks to move food from excesses to places where there is food deficit,â? he said The Malawian leader, a former Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), was widely cheered after the Libyan leader invited him to take over the chairmanship.
He recognised the role that the Southern Africa region, under the banner of the South African Development Community (SADC), played in ensuring his ascension into the post of AU chairman.
The Malawian leader urged African leaders to cut on rhetoric and move to action.
â?The Year 2010 is the Year for Africa.
Five years from now, no African child s hould die out of malnutrition and hunger.
Africa has rivers, let us use them for irrigation and deal with climate change,â? he said.
â?I propose that our agenda should be, 'Feeding Africa' through new technologies, let us act now.
â ?

31 january 2010 13:42:00




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