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

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
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 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 US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
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 S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
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 Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. 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.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs