OAU Steps Up Pace of Transition to AU

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The Organisation of African Unity has increased the number of its central organs from four to twelve, Secretary General Amara Essy disclosed Saturday in Lusaka.
Speaking at the end of a one-day visit to Zambia, Essy said that the increase in the number of central organs was but one step on the road to full unity on the continent.
He explained that during consultations he held with Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, current chair of the OAU, they reviewed a number of issues that are pertinent to the consolidation of African unity so that the African Union can take root later this year.
Essy said his visit to Zambia was part of laying the groundwork for the watershed and transitional heads of state and government summit to be held in South Africa in June.
He was emphatic that the success of the transition, from OAU to AU, will be determined by the amount of work he will be able to put in over the coming months.
It was for that reason, Essy said, he was consulting Mwanawasa and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa as incoming chairman of the AU.
Essy called for the reappraisal of political decisions which presently stifle Africa's spirit of self-sufficiency and capacity to perform without interference from outside.
He particularly expressed displeasure at the current trend among African governments of inviting foreigners to monitor their elections, saying leaders on the continent have a duty of putting in place electoral rules and procedures that will reflect the political choices and will of their people.
He noted that elections were an integral part of Africa's political scene and as such they should be left to Africans themselves to determine their own destiny.

16 february 2002 14:00:00

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