Wednesday, 1 August 2012

AU: big plans for Africa ahead

By Gael Masengi

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Newly elected African Union (AU) Commission chairwoman Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says a lack of infrastructure development is the biggest challenge facing Africa, addressing a gathering of representatives of the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa this past Sunday in Pretoria, Dlamini-Zuma believed that the African Union’s vision of more integration could only be reached if infrastructure on the continent was significantly improved.

She made clear her vision and priorities for the continental organisation as she pointed out that transport and communication links were not doing enough to connect countries with each other, she said there could be no integration as imagined by the African Union without a proper infrastructure liking the African countries. Dr Dlamini-Zuma –who earlier this month called for a united African Union after her election was criticised by other country members and left the continental governing body divide between French and English speaking states –also believed that the dream for an integrated Africa would further be achieved by the Pan African Parliament becoming a legislative body which would “harmonise legislation” across the continent.

“How do you build a railway in the middle of war?” she asked as she admits that integration could also not be successfully achieved if peace was not achieved on the continent. She said that while the continent had many challenges it also had many opportunities of which it needed to take advantage, and enormous agriculture, energy and human resource potential.
Regarding her mandate at the helm of the AU, Dlamini-Zuma said: “When I got there, I will be working as a servant of Africa and not South Africa.” Assuring Africans people that more will be made while she’s in charge.

She concluded that the direction which the African Union took would need to be determined with the involvement of its citizens and not its government alone, “If it’s left to government, it’s not going to go anywhere fast” she said.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma doctor in training has brought noticeable changes to the South African department of Home Affairs, previously viewed as a centre of corruption and incompetence.

                                                                                                                                         Additional words Sapa   

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