News / Africa

African Leaders Gather for Busy AU Summit Agenda

Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, speaks during a meeting of African economic blocs at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, January 25, 2012.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, speaks during a meeting of African economic blocs at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, January 25, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
Peter Clottey

African heads of state and government have begun arriving ahead of the African Union (AU) summit scheduled to begin in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, Sunday.

Observers say a record number of African leaders are expected to attend this year’s summit.

“Everything is in high gear on preparations for the opening of the summit Sunday,” said AU adviser Keizire Boaz.

Boaz says the leaders are expected to elect the new head of the African Union commission, as well as formulate a framework to promote trade and commerce among African countries.

“There are two key things that are going to happen at this summit.  One is the election of office bearers, including the African Union chair, and also the chairperson of the commission,” continued Boaz. “There are lots of expectations on what kind of decisions are going to be made to enhance Africa trade, especially to allow the movement of goods and services within Africa at a relatively cheaper cost.”

The leaders are also scheduled to elect the deputy chairperson of the AU commission, as well as ten members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), and one judge of the AU Ad-hoc administrative tribunal.  South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will challenge incumbent chairperson Jean Ping.

Boaz said supporters of Dlamini-Zuma and Ping have been campaigning for their candidates ahead of the summit.

“A number of big actors have played a big role in mobilizing both the heads of state, but also the ministers of foreign affairs to elect the office bearers.”

Boaz says expectations are high about the decisions the heads of state and government will be making about resolving challenges the continent faces.

“They are going to be debating and clarifying the needed action and decision to allow faster and cheaper movements of goods and services.  It will take a lot of resources to enhance both road and railway infrastructure…and to talk about the rules and regulations to allow this to happen,” said Boaz.

He said the African leaders should demonstrate political will to promote the trade and commerce among their countries.

“The heads of state need to show commitment and, secondly, to be responsible to making the decisions [and] to take those decisions into action,” said Boaz. “Moving from decision to action is what is going to determine how effective this approach is going to be.”

The AU leaders are expected to consider the recommendations of the commission’s report on the implementation of previous decisions of the Executive Council and the Assembly and the report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the state of peace and security in Africa, including the activities of the Panel of the Wise.

They will also discuss the report of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who is chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs