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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs