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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

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