News / Africa

In Shadow of Mali, AU Pledges to Solve Own Problems

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) and Chairperson of the AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma leave the conference hall after the closing ceremony of the 20th Summit for the Africa Union in Addis Ababa, Jan. 28, 2013.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) and Chairperson of the AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma leave the conference hall after the closing ceremony of the 20th Summit for the Africa Union in Addis Ababa, Jan. 28, 2013.
Marthe van der Wolf
The African Union summit ended Monday night with a commitment to play a leading role in solving problems on the continent instead of waiting for other nations to lead the way.
 
Conflicts on the continent, economic integration and the AU's 50th anniversary dominated the two-day summit.  The general assembly of the pan-African organization concluded with initiatives and pledges to lead the way in solving problems on the continent, such as the militant takeover of northern Mali.

The French were the first to attack the groups that imposed strict Islamic law on the region.  A West African-led mission to Mali was in the planning for months but deployed only after the French intervened.
 
The AU's new chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said in his closing remarks Monday night that the General Assembly pledges to help stabilize Mali.
 
“In this regard the assembly, among others, has adopted a declaration reaffirming its solidarity with Mali and expressing the determination to pull the efforts of member states,” he said.

The African Union will contribute $50 million to support AFISMA, the African-led International Support Mission to Mali.  A donor conference will be held at the African Union on Tuesday to collect the additional $460 million needed for the mission.
 
The continent also faces conflicts in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and tense situations in Guinea-Bissau and the Sudans.

The AU says it aims to make its proposed African Standby Force fully operational as soon as possible, so it can respond more quickly to emerging conflicts.
 
AU members also acknowlege there is a need for efforts to improve economic growth, as much of the African development budget still comes from international partners.  Hailemariam says a key element of that will be NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development program.  
 
“We have exchanged views and agreed on ways and means of addressing our financial constraints and agreed on the need to find innovative ways of mobilizing domestic resources to finance the implementation of NEPAD programs,” he said.
 
Hailemariam says the contribution toward Mali and the NEPAD initiative are examples of Africa trying to overcome its own problems instead of waiting for the other countries to help.

To expand on that effort, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will lead committee of heads of states to map out the development agenda for the continent.
 
African heads of state will gather in Ethiopia again in May to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the AU.  The theme of the celebrations will be pan-Africanism and African renaissance.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Renaissance Dream
January 28, 2013 10:24 PM
The AU's record in Africa leaves much to be desired when one looks at past conflicts and the situation in Zimbabwe, where it has remained "silent". Donor conferences and celebrations achieve very little for the people of Africa, truthfully speaking.The reality speaks for itself.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs