News / Africa

Analysts: Serious Challenges Await First Woman AU Chair

Analysts: Serious Challenges Await First Woman AU Chairi
|| 0:00:00
X
Mariama Diallo
July 18, 2012
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made history this week (Sunday) by becoming the first female elected to lead the African Union Commission. Mariama Diallo looks into the significance of Dlamini-Zuma's victory and what this change of leadership means for an organization born four decades ago.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (file photo).

TEXT SIZE - +
Mariama Diallo
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made history Sunday by becoming the first female elected to lead the African Union Commission.

The African Union's new chief replaces Gabonese incumbent Jean Ping, who led  the 54-member organization since 2008. The 63-year-old Dlamini-Zuma is the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma and recently served as his home affairs minister.  

“It’s extraordinary to have someone come to the helm of the African Union who’s been a medical doctor, but she is also an activist,” said Emira Woods is with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. She says Dlamini-Zuma’s militancy within the African National Congress [ANC] and the various posts she’s held since the fall of apartheid shows she has credentials - but tremendous challenges await her.  

“All that’s happening with the crisis in Mali is one of the most critical at the moment; you also have the DRC, where a neighboring state has now, according to the U.N., been found culpable in the atrocities across the border in the Eastern Congo. How do you bring an end to these crises?,” Woods said.

In addition, there are concerns about basic rights, says political analyst Steven Friedman of the University of Johannesburg.

“People in this continent are still being negatively affected by wars. They are still in many parts not being listened to by the people who govern their countries, and many people are living in poverty," Friedman said.  

 Dlamini-Zuma comes from South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province.

Reactions in the continent are mixed.

"We must wait and see. But South Africa has a good example for Africa in terms of government and of democracy," said one man.  

Another man said "In Liberia, we have a lady at the top, in Malawi also, and now we have a South African woman at the top of the AU, I think it will work."

VOA's Amanda Scott contributed to this report.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid