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

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    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.

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora