President Jacob Zuma concludes AU working visit
02 February 2010ADDIS ABABA - President Jacob Zuma concluded a working visit to Ethiopia today (2 February 2010) where he was attending the 14th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government Assembly of the African Union.
The President also attended the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee, and the African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government.
President Zuma led the South African delegation, accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi and Communications Minister General (ret) Siphiwe Nyanda.
President Zuma participated in a discussion on the theme of the summit, ‘Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development’, which took place on Sunday 31 January.
He encouraged African leaders to harness the potential of ICT for greater integration of African governance structures.
“We meet here in Addis Ababa with the objective of advancing our vision of a united Africa. Information and communication technology can help us to realise that vision. It can help us to advance economic growth and development,” he said.
During the Summit two South African scientists, Prof Patrick Eriksson of the University of Pretoria and Prof Diane Hildebrandt of the University of the Witwatersrand, received awards for their outstanding scientific work on the continent.
President Zuma also met with Malawian President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika and congratulated him on assuming the Chairpersonship of the African Union. He wished Malawi well as they undertook this important responsibility and pledged South Africa support to Malawi’s leadership of the African Union.
“This further demonstrates that as a collective we have began to institutionalise democratic processes and we can afford all member states the opportunity to lead us as we advance integration on issues affecting the continent,” President Zuma said.
President Zuma pledged South Africa’s support of the resolutions taken by the summit. These include amongst others:
· The draft decision on Madagascar wherein the Assembly underscored the leading role played by SADC in the mediation process in Madagascar. The Assembly further expressed its full support to HE Joaquim Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique and SADC mediator and his mediation team for their endeavours towards re-establishing constitutional normalcy in Madagascar.
· The Assembly also took note of the election of the members of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union by the Executive Council for a three year term with effect from 1st April 2010. South Africa was also elected as a member of the for a two year term with effect from 1st April 2010.
Furthermore, President Zuma extended an invitation to all African Heads of State and Government to attend the FIFA 2010 World Cup as South Africa views it as an African World Cup.
President Jacob Zuma arrives back in South Africa today.
For further information contact Vincent Magwenya on 072 715 0024 or Saul Molobi on 082 940 1647
From the South African Embassy, Addis Ababa, 02 February 2010