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 Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
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