News / Africa

AU Marks 50 Years with Call for Stronger Future

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete are seen at one of the sessions marking the 50th anniversary of the African Union in Addis Ababa May 25, 2013.Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete are seen at one of the sessions marking the 50th anniversary of the African Union in Addis Ababa May 25, 2013.
x
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete are seen at one of the sessions marking the 50th anniversary of the African Union in Addis Ababa May 25, 2013.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete are seen at one of the sessions marking the 50th anniversary of the African Union in Addis Ababa May 25, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
African leaders Saturday commemorated 50 years since the founding of a continental organization that would become the modern African Union. At AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the organization’s leaders celebrated the achievements of the past and called for greater solidarity among nations going forward.   
 
At a ceremony marking 50 years to the day since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, AU Chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn honored the bloc’s founders with a call to continue to carry out their vision.
 
"This historic day marks not only a great leap forward in the Pan-African quest of freedom, independence and unity but also the beginning of our collective endeavor for the realization of Africa’s social and economic emancipation,” said Hailemariam.
 
Prime Minister Hailemariam said achieving these goals would require a “paradigm shift” in social and economic governance.
 
The AU has adopted the theme of Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance for its jubilee year - a call for greater regional integration and a celebration of Africa’s re-emergence as a global power.
 
In her address Saturday, AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said there is no greater show of African solidarity than in the sacrifices made by AU peacekeepers fighting to restore peace and security to Somalia.
 
“When we therefore talk about African solutions to African problems it is because we know that we can only permanently silence the guns if we act in solidarity and in unity,” said Zuma.
 
African leaders are also looking at ways to sustain the continent’s rapid economic growth and to ensure it translates into an increase in jobs and a reduction in poverty, which still plagues the continent.

African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, speaking at the AU event Saturday, highlighted the economic imbalance in Africa noting that while the continent uses mobile phones more than Europe and North America combined, none of the components are manufactured in Africa.
 
AU heads of state will begin the official summit Sunday.  Among the items being discussed is a call from African foreign ministers for the International Criminal Court case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy to be returned back to Kenya.  
 
The motion is seen as a major rebuke of the ICC, which leaders here say unfairly targets Africans.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid