Wednesday, 18 July 2012

AU Summit Tanzania
From GABBY MGAYA in Addis Ababa
IT is now a reality. Tanzania will host the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in 2017.
Tanzania’s offer to host the AU summit was one of the items on the agenda of the just ended such summit here.
Tanzania’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Professor Joram Mukama Biswaro, told the ‘Daily News’ here yesterday that Dar’s proposal to host the summit had successfully gone through all the necessary channels, including an AU ambassadorial meeting and the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Ambassador Biswaro said that as Tanzania had done its homework well, including carrying out intensive lobbying among AU member states, it was all plain sailing at the Heads of State and Government Assembly and the country’s candidature was a foregone conclusion.
The offers’ acceptance ushers in five years of intensive preparations, including installation of the necessary infrastructure, such as construction of a fitting conference hall as well as the consolidation of the transportation and communications network, among other works, to ensure successful hosting of the summit.
Meanwhile, the summit has elected six commissioners out of the required eight following the election and re-election of Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma from South Africa as AU Commission Chairperson, replacing Dr Jean Ping from Gabon, and Mr Erastus Mwencha from Kenya as her deputy.
They are Mr Ramtane Lamamra from Algeria (Peace and Security), Ms Aisha Abdullah from Nigeria (Political Affairs), Ms Elham Mahmoud from Egypt (Infrastructure and Economy), Mr Mustapha Kaloko from Sierra Leone (Social Affairs), Ms Fatima Acyl from Chad (Trade and Industry) and Ms Rhoda Tumusiime from Uganda (Rural Economy and Agriculture).
The Summit decided that Commissioners for Human Resources, Science and Technology; and Economic Affairs will be elected only among male candidates from Central Africa and Southern Africa.
This is in accordance with the provisions of the statutes of the Commission as well as the rules and procedures of the assembly. The election will be held during the ordinary session of the Executive Council in January 2013. The posts will be advertised.
Appointments to the AU Commissioner are mainly done along zonal and gender balance lines.
Meanwhile, the outgoing AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Ping has gracefully admitted ‘defeat’ and pledged to give his successor, Ms Dlamini-Zuma, all the necessary support and assistance to enable her execute her duties well whenever asked to do so.
The two agreed to work together to achiever greater African unity at the closing hours of the 19th summit here on Monday.
Sources close to the summit said Ms Dlamini-Zuma had earlier showered praise on Dr Ping’s service at the helm of the commission and requested for his assistance and support to enable her handle her new responsibilities effectively.
AU Chairperson, Benin President Dr Boni Yayi, said the meeting of minds between Dr Ping and Ms Dlamini-Zuma has disappointed all detractors of Africa.