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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora