Rwanda: AU Comission chairperson urges solidarity, Pan Africanism

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on Sunday stressed the need for solidarity among African countries, urging them not to be bogged down into counter-productive competition among each other.

Speaking at the opening of two-day Ordinary Session of the AU Permanent Representatives' Committee, on the sidelines of the 27th AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda, the AU Commission chairperson said that the Commission, will keep trying to do better to ensure that it streamlines its activities to  focus on AU's Agenda 2063 priorities.

She noted that the AU's flagship integration projects are the Single Aviation Market, the Grand Inga Dam and other energy projects, the Pan African University, the high-speed rail and road network project, the Pan e-network, the Continental Free Trade Area, the African passport and the Commodities strategy, and the Malabo Plan on Agriculture.

She said that the main purpose of the agenda is to cut down on wastage, as well as wasteful expenditure, and to be more prudent so that the commission focuses on those activities that have real impact for AU member states and Africans.

Dlamini-Zuma also said that, "this internal domestication of Agenda 2063 should help the African countries to see in real terms the link between national interests and the Pan African agenda and progress."

However, the chairperson noted that one of the reasons for slow movement on some of these issues like the single African aviation market was mainly the focus on national interest to the detriment of the continental interests.

"While the larger and growing economies in different regions have to play their role as locomotives for growth, skills development, research and development, we are convinced if those concerned nations slow down continental growth, this will have a negative impact at all levels both national and regional.

"However, it is said that the African continent has more to win than to loose from implementing the current Pan African vision," she stressed.

Citing the example of Arusha Declaration on harmonization of universities in the East African region, she said that, "this will provide more opportunities for all African young people to do their degrees of their choices and practice their professions on the African continent."

"Also the progress of Continental Free Trade Area is one such area where, unless we take a Pan African stance, we will perish as individual countries and as a continent," Dlamini-Zuma said.

Latest reports by AU indicated that the continent has lost over 40 per cent market share, and AU member states have instead focused on Open Sky Agreements with many more non-African countries, that they do with other African counterparts.

In that regard, the AU Commission chairperon said: "There is a pressing need to advocate for that balance between the national interests and the continental common good to enhance Africa's growth and development."
-0- PANA TWA/AA 10July2016

10 july 2016 16:37:26

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