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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid