News / Africa

    AU Says Africa Should Move Toward Prosperity

    Heads of the African States pose for a group picture in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 27, 2013, during the African Union Conference.
    Heads of the African States pose for a group picture in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 27, 2013, during the African Union Conference.
    Lisa Schlein
    A top African Union official says Africa has everything it needs to move toward a prosperous future and to become a leading player in global affairs.  AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says Africa has many hurdles to overcome, but she remains optimistic that the continent is up to the task.

    The African Union is celebrating its 50th anniversary. AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says this is a time for reflection - a time to look at past failures and successes, as well as to reflect on where Africa will be 50 years from now.

    She says Africa has succeeded in liberating itself from its colonial past, but has not succeeded in becoming prosperous.  She says Africa is poor, but need not remain so.  She says Africa has a dynamic youthful population, hard-working people and countries endowed with minerals and other resources.

    Zuma is the first woman to hold the AU Commission Chair and is a former foreign minister of South Africa.  She says Africa must quickly develop its infrastructure to prosper.  It must develop its transport, energy and ICT sectors.  She says this would unlock the continent's potential so it can expand its internal trade and develop a flourishing tourist trade.

    “We think that if we handle ourselves well, our resources well, invest in our people, we can be prosperous.  But, we must also continue on the process we have started, which is going very well of democratization of our countries.  And, most of our countries now are democratic and they are having regular elections,” said Zuma. 

    The AU commission chair does not gloss over the huge problems that exist, such as ongoing conflicts in Mali and Sudan, widespread corruption and criminality.  But, she says these problems can be overcome, reduced or contained. 

    For example, she notes that 20 years ago, there were some 15 raging conflicts in Africa.  She says this dreadful situation has been dramatically reduced.  She adds that development is the only sure pathway to a sustainable peace.  To encourage development, she is calling for investors to promote job creation.

    In regard to current events, Zuma says she has low expectations that the meeting of the G-8 will produce any concrete or beneficial results for Africa.

    “I think the G-8 and Africa is not an easy relationship because the G-8 has a different presidency every year.  Each one decides on their agenda, so what was discussed last year is not necessarily followed through to the next year.  So…maybe it works for the G-8, obviously it does - otherwise they would not be continuing to do it - whether it works for Africa, I am not sure,” she said.

    Zuma says the African Union will be sending observers to monitor Zimbabwe’s elections, currently scheduled for July 31, in line with orders from the Constitutional Court. 

    Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is pushing for the vote to be delayed until a number of legal reforms have been enacted. 

    Zuma says it is up to Zimbabwe's people to decide whether they want to obey the rule of law or not.  However, she is quite adamant that whenever the election does take place, it must be free and fair.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Spanish Warrants Point to Russian Govt. Links to Organized Crime

    Links to several Russians, some of them reputedly close Putin associates, backed by ‘very strong evidence,’ Spanish judge says

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    Iraq needs stable, central government to push back against Islamic State, US says, but others warn that Baghdad may not have unified front any time soon

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

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora