- The outgoing Chairman of the African Union Commission has asked African governments to ensure that they respect good governance, democratic principles, non-indifference, gender equality, among other principles adopted by the AU member states.
Alpha Oumar Konaré, who was addressing the AU Foreign Affairs Ministers ahead of the 10th AU Heads of State Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, expressed concern about the maintenance of peace and security within the continent, the reinforcement of the Commission and the representation of African diplomatic missions abroad, the leadership of Africa and its socio-economic and political integration and the need for an African common industrial policy.
“Africa is one from north to south and from east to west, there is nothing like northern Africa opposed to sub-Saharan Africa," Konaré said.
He urged Africans to speak with one voice when it comes to partnership agreements with stakeholders.
The AU chief saw the urgent need to assist member countries in crises, citing among others conflicts in Darfur, Somalia, the serious drought faced by eastern and southern African countries and the Palestinian issue which has now taken its toll on Egypt.
On the Kenya's post electoral unrests, Konaré said "we cannot sit and observe another genocide after drawing lessons from the Rwandan genocide."
Konaré asked the Former Chief Executive of the Anjouan Island, Union of the Comoros, Mohamed Bacar, to comply with the AU democratic principles to resolve the problems in his country or else "the AU will be obliged to impose other measures to restore peace in the Comoros" because the issue must not be allowed to impinge on the credibility of the Commission.
He favoured the promotion of national languages and institutionalisation of Swahili to consolidate "our identity and foster African integration."
Konaré commended journalists for constructively "painting a real picture of the African Union" and therefore called on governments to remain committed to freedom of the press. “There is no democracy without the press," he said.
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulie Janneh, said the aspirations of the NEPAD and African Peer Review Mechanism should be supported to stimulate continental development.
He said industrial development in Africa is capable of reducing the dependence of African countries on production and export of primary commodities, integrate firms and businesses into global value chains, resulting to dynamism, diversification and technology advancement.
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afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.