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African Union set to mark 50th anniversary

05-20-2013 00:51 BJT

By CCTV correspondent Girum Chala

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity, the forerunner of the African Union. The celebrations will focus on the achievements and vision of the organization’s founders, as well as planning the coming 50 years, as the AU seeks to build a more politically and economically integrated Africa.

Africa Union has already lit the torch of celebrations for its predecessor the organization of African unity’s 5oth anniversary. All member states will come together in huge numbers and meet here at the headquarters of the union to celebrate this golden jubilee. Accordingly, the Heads of State declared the year 2013 the Year of Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, AU commission chairperson, said, "I know that people argue that you must just deal with peace because you cant do anything if there is no peace. But we must remember that the continent is generally stable and peaceful. There are pockets of instability and conflict, but generally we are peaceful and stable but we cannot sustain that peace and stability if we do not attend to issues of development."

It will also be a little more than a decade since the formation of the African Union, which seeks to promote "an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena".

The anniversary is expected to facilitate and celebrate African narratives of past, present and future that will enthuse and energize the African population and use their constructive energy to accelerate a forward looking agenda of Pan-Africanism and renaissance in the 21st century.

Erastus Mwencha, AU commission deputy chairperson, said, "For the last 50 years, Africa has travelled the road of development, integration, peace and security in the continent and many other aspects, facets of life. And so this is a good moment for Africa to say where should we have been? What were the missed opportunities? What are the assets that we have that should take us forward?"

Many believe the celebration of the 50 unique opportunity, and comes at a moment when Africa is on the rise, and must therefore build its confidence in its future. But still the continent needs to do appropriate planning to utilize its resources and above all to help sustain the current relatively peaceful situation in the continent.

Abdul Mohammed, member of AU High Level Implementation Panel, said, "The winding down of these wars and conflicts largely is because of the efforts of the African people themselves, and also the efforts of regional organizations and more importantly because of the effort of the African Union. Africans are taking their responsibility in resolving their problem much, much more seriously than any time."

Many dignitaries and influential people are expected to join Africa in its festivity starting from the middle of May including John Forbes Kerry who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State.

The growing concern of security situations in the continent and the ways of containing them is expected to the main agenda of talks among African leaders. But Above all developmental issues of the continent in almost all aspects, the continent’s contribution for the post Million development goal planning and issues of strengthening partnerships with countries like China and the US will seriously be dealt. Many say the world must prepare to witness the Africa it never knew before in the coming 50 years-peaceful, prosperous and more integrated Africa.


Editor:James |Source:

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