News / Africa

    New AU Chair’s Policies Could Mirror Those of South Africa

    South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the media during the leaders meeting at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa July 15, 2012. South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the media during the leaders meeting at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa July 15, 2012.
    x
    South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the media during the leaders meeting at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa July 15, 2012.
    South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the media during the leaders meeting at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa July 15, 2012.
    James Butty
    South African law professor Danwood Chirwa said the election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the new African Union Commission chairperson could mean that AU policies will reflect South Africa’s foreign policy. 

    Chirwa, professor of law at the University of Cape Town, said South Africa’s foreign policy has, for the past five years, been protective of African leaders. 

    However, Chirwa Dlamini-Zuma’s election is significant because she will be the first woman to hold the once male-dominated AU Commission chairmanship.

    “It is interesting in two ways.  Firstly, this will be the first woman to lead the African Union, which is dominated, obviously, by male presidents.  The second, this is the first time that southern Africa has gotten the position,” he said.

    Chirwa said Dlamini-Zuma’s election could mean that South African foreign policy could be at the forefront of AU policies during her term.  He said his prediction was based on South Africa’s record during the past five years in the international arena.

    “I’m sad to say that South Africa did not do very well at the UN Security Council when it had a stint there for two years.  Zimbabwe was a major issue at the time and South Africa did everything possible for Zimbabwe not to be discussed at the UN,” Chirwa said.

    Chirwa praised South African foreign policy in other areas, including its role in the negotiations that resulted in South Sudan’s independence from Sudan, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Butty interview with Chirwa
    Butty interview with Chirwai
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    Outgoing chairman Jean Ping is from Francophone Gabon, while Dlamini-Zuma is from English-speaking South Africa.

    Some observers fear the closeness of the election could do more to polarize the African Union between Francophone and Anglophone countries.

    Chirwa said he does not think the election of Dlamini-Zuma will polarize the African Union.

    “I don’t think that Gabon will have so much of an issue because they have a person who was serving in the post.  He has done his part; I think he has done a good job.  The French-speaking countries are always quite well represented at the international level, both at the UN level and at the regional level,” Chirwa said.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Optimist from: Everywhere
    July 16, 2012 8:45 AM
    This will be for the first time, truly African policy exercised in AU. I welcome the election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, I consider it to be a good Pro-African change. The previous AU leader(s) have been against African people, and more change are going to follow, all those dictators that have been anti-African people will be dealt with.

    by: Maria Leelavathi Joseph
    July 16, 2012 4:26 AM
    Congratulations to the on the election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the new African Union Commission chairperson.I wish them a new perspective in including the feminine genius. may the great lady be able to bring in a family atmosphere, like a mother who loves and cares all her children with all their unique differences and make everyone happy. We look forward to her role in resolving the Sudan South Sudan issue amicably and never more war in the region. We just can't afford another war.

    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.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.