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 10:25 PM
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).

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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid