Agenda 2063 is the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, was appointed to lead the AU institutional reforms process. He appointed a pan-African committee of experts to review and submit proposals for a system of governance for the AU that would ensure the organisation was better placed to address the challenges facing the continent with the aim of implementing programmes that have the highest impact on Africa’s growth and development so as to deliver on the vision of Agenda 2063.
The AU offers exciting opportunities to get involved in determining continental policies and implementing development programmes that impact the lives of African citizens everywhere. Find out more by visiting the links on right.
AUC Chairperson meets with UN Deputy Secretary General to discuss migration, peace and security and Agenda 2063
Johannesburg, South Africa - 15 June 2015: The African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma met with the United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson on the margins of the 25th African Union Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa. They held discussions on the AU-UN relationship, migration, the situation in Burundi, South Sudan and other issues of development, including Africa’s Agenda 2063.
On migration, which remains a pressing issue, the AU Commission Chairperson cautioned that attempts at resolving migration challenges must be holistic, and must be looked at in the short, medium and long-term. Given that migration is an age-old phenomenon, she recommended that a long-term approach would contribute to a sustainable solution. Ahead of a conference being organized on migration, the AUC Chairperson assured the Deputy SG of the AU’s participation.
The Deputy SG expressed his delight in the approach Africa is taking toward its development. He expressed the readiness of the UN to support at any time, as it becomes necessary. He also expressed the hope to see the Africa’s development plans feature in the discussions during the International Conference for the Financing for Development to be organized in July, in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
African Union Adopts Common Position on Ending Child Marriage Agreement signals AU’s commitment to empower women and girls and protect their human rights
Johannesburg, South Africa – 17 June, 2015 – The African Union (AU) today announced that it has formally adopted a common position on ending child marriage in Africa. Under the new agreement, the AU is urging its Member States to establish comprehensive action plans to end child marriage, including establishing and enforcing laws which set the minimum age for marriage at 18. The AU will monitor progress toward this goal as part of its Agenda 2063 strategy, which aims to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years.
Speaking at the African Union Summit in Johannesburg, African Union Director of Social Affairs, Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun, commented: “Today is an important day for all Africans as we seek to empower women and girls by ending child marriage. Child marriage is a harmful social-cultural practice which is endemic in many parts of Africa. We know it has a negative impact on the women and girls’ personal development, future opportunities, education, health and wellbeing. It also has detrimental consequences for families, communities and nations at large.
“While we recognize that some African nations have already launched initiatives and campaigns to end child marriage, the agreement today will help accelerate that process.”
According to statistics from UNICEF, in Africa, south of the Sahara, 40% of women and girls aged 20 to 24 years old were married before age 18. This number rises to 42% in West and Central Africa. If current trends continue, the number of child marriages in Africa, south of the Sahara, is expected to double by 2020, and the region will overtake South Asia to become the region with the largest number of child brides in the world.
Ms.Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, said: “A safe and sustainable world demands women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality. Ending child marriage is a critical step in providing women and girls with the opportunities to make their own decisions about their health, their education and their lives. We can end child marriage in a generation if we come together to drive social change.”
In May 2014, the AU launched the first campaign of its kind in Africa to End Child Marriage by enhancing continental awareness of the harmful impact of child marriage and by taking appropriate legal, social and economic measures.
Some African nations have already implemented laws to stop child marriage. In February of this year, the Malawian Parliament passed the National Marriage Law, which raised the legal marriage age from 15 to 18 years old. Previously, 50% of girls in Malawi were married before the age of 18, contributing to a high rate of maternal mortality and other harmful health consequences. Other nations, such as Zambia, are putting multi-sectoral approaches in place.
Professor Nkandu Luo, Minister of Gender, Zambia, said: “We look at child marriage as an octopus. It has financial, economic, health, education and other social issues. In Zambia, we therefore have established a multi-sectoral approach to prevent child marriage and ensure the rights and needs of married girls are systematically addressed.”
Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, African Union Goodwill Ambassador for Ending Child Marriage, and General Secretary, World YWCA, said: “We know that ending child marriage can break the cycle of poverty and unleash the potential of girls. However, it’s equally important to empower and support young women and girls who are already married, many of whom are also young mothers. We need to provide them with the information, education and services they need to live healthy and empowered lives.”
The African Union Assembly launches the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations
Johannesburg, South Africa – 15 June 2015. The African Union Assembly launched the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations during the 25th Ordinary Summit of Head of States and Governments on 15 June in Johannesburg, South Africa. The CFTA negotiations were launched at a luncheon hosted by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
The launch of the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations was preceded by a High Level Panel discussion on the CFTA. The objective was to discuss the importance and benefits of the Continental Free Trade Area for Africa.
H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal pointed out that Africans trade only 12% of their merchandise among themselves and emphasized the urgent need for the continent to come together and establish one African Free Trade Area. “We now have to make a giant step to make the CFTA a reality”, he said. The President urged African countries to learn from the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional group of fifteen countries which has implemented a single passport to facilitate the intra-regional movement of people and goods across the West Africa region. He also mentioned that trade-related infrastructure is key to the implementation of the CFTA. “Infrastructure has to be the priority and without it, trade between African countries will never be improved”, he stressed.
H.E. Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya and one of the Champions of the CFTA, highlighted how important and critical the CFTA is for the Continent. For the President, the CFTA means, amongst others, prosperity, job creation for youth, peace and security and agricultural development. He noted that 6 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa and the CFTA will build one common African market and address the challenges of youth migration and poverty issues. He deplored the fact that Africa is still exporting its raw materials to third countries, depriving itself of the opportunity to create decent jobs for its people. He insisted that countries should remove artificial borders that fragment the African market. “I can assure everybody that the CFTA, if it is implemented, will benefit big and small countries. We just have to remove the artificial boundaries we have created for ourselves and that have been inherited from colonial times”, he said.
Representing the President of Ghana, H.E John Dramani Mahama also a Champion of the CFTA, Mrs. Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration pointed out that Ghana fully supports the implementation of the CFTA. “The CFTA is a vehicle to empower our young people to create jobs and a better life for our people”, she said.
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) H.E. Dr Carlos Lopez, welcomed the launch of the CFTA negotiations and noted that the Continent has made some progress in terms of economic growth but emphasized that this growth is not sustainable without industrialization and the creation of an internal African market.
The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Erastus Mwencha deplored the fact that currently it is so difficult to move across borders in Africa. He highlighted that an African trader faces a higher level of tariff protection when exporting within the continent than a trader from overseas. The CFTA is therefore an instrument to create favorable trading conditions for African traders. He urged countries to seriously address the issues of tariffs and non-tariff barriers during the CFTA negotiations.
The Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, H.E Fatima Haram Acyl, applauded the Heads of State and Government for their commitment to the establishment of the CFTA. She reaffirmed the AU Commission’s readiness to support Member States in the CFTA Negotiations. The Commissioner emphasized the importance of involving various stakeholders in the negotiations and implementation of the CFTA in particular the private sector. Regional Economic Communities (RECs), private sector, civil society, and strategic partners all have an important role to play in the CFTA negotiations under the leadership of African Member states.
“I am convinced that through the CFTA, we can put trade at the center and at the service of development and create economic opportunities and decent jobs for our youth here in Africa. Africa cannot afford to keep losing its young people to the Mediterranean Sea as they seek to migrate to Europe in search of jobs and greener pastures”, she concluded..
Officially launching the CFTA negotiations, the Chairperson of the African Union and President of Zimbabwe H.E Robert Mugabe, welcomed the commencement of the negotiations and urged countries to learn from the Tripartite Free Trade Area among COMESA-EAC-SADC which was launched on 10 June 2015 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. He emphasized the importance of accelerated infrastructure and industrial development to enable the CFTA is to be an engine of economic growth and development for Africa.
The CFTA negotiations are expected to be concluded by the indicative date of 2017.
For further information, please contact Mr. Batanai Chikwene, Trade Policy officer - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
African leaders adopt experts report to end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030
Recommend extension of AU Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity to 2020
Sandton–16 June 2015: African leaders on Sunday during the statutory AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) luncheon meeting adopted the report of AIDS Watch Africa Member States Experts on AIDS, TB and Malaria. The report comes at a critical juncture when the the African Union is reviewing its key health frameworks that will come to an end in 2015. At the global level countries are finalising negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals that will supersede the Millenium Development Goals at the same time.
“Both the African Union Common Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the 2013 Abuja Declaration prioritise health as central to Africa’s development” said the Chairperson of AIDS Watch Africa President Robert Mugabe. “These frameworks recognise the urgency of speeding up action to strengthen our health systems, provide comprehensive and integrated health care services and improve universal access to essential services, with a focus on elimination of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030” he added.
The Victoria Falls experts report highlights the key progress and challenges in the implementation of the African Union roadmap to end the three diseses and provide key recommendations for addressing AIDS, TB and malaria. The African Union has already started the process of developing the new framework to end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030 in line with the 2013 commitment by the African leadership in Abuja, Nigeria.
“While it is indisputable that the last decade has seen unprecedented decline in the incidence of these diseases, we cannot be complacent. In fact, we need to redouble efforts and embrace ambitious targets, so that we can succeed in eradicating the three diseases” said Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the Chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance while urging the African Union Commission to prepare a roadmap, with clear targets and timelines on eliminating malaria.
The meeting recommended the extenstion of the African Union Roadmap for Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria Response to 2020 to ensure its full implementation. The three pillars of the AU Roadmap are diversified, balanced and sustainable financing models, access to medicines through local production and regulatory harmonisation and leadership, governance and oversight for sustainability.
For further information contact
Mrs Wynne Musabayana | Deputy Head of Communication and Information Division | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission | Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44 | E-mail: MusabayanaW@africa-union.org | Web: www.au.int | Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
Mr. Tawanda Chisango I AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) Program Advocacy & Partnership Expert | Social Affairs | African Union Commission I Mobile +251934167052 | E-mail: email@example.com | Web www.au.int I
Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
About the African Union
The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/
About AIDS Watch Africa
Created at the Abuja 2001 Special Summit, AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is an Africa-led instrument to stimulate leaders into action and mobilize the resources needed to address AIDS, TB and Malaria in an effective, sustainable and accountable manner. Learn more www.aidswatchafrica.org
Chinese Vice Foreign Affairs Minister delivers message to 25th AU Summit
Johannesburg, South Africa - 15 June 2015: The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Zhang Ming delivered to the African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, a message of solidarity from his President Xi Jinping. The message was delivered when Vice Minister Zhang Ming met with the AU Commission Chairperson on the sidelines of the 25th African Union Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In the message, the Chinese President expressed his warm congratulations to African countries and their peoples, and wished the continent well in its stride to development. He said that, “Africa’s strength lies in its unity. Africa’s unity needs a strong AU.”
The AU Commission Chairperson expressed her appreciation for the message and took the opportunity to also briefly discuss other pertinent issues of interest between Africa and China.
During the brief audience between the AU Commission Chairperson and the Chinese Special Envoy, they also discussed the progress on the implementation of their Memorandum of Understanding signed in January 2015. Regarding the high speed train project to connect Africa’s capital cities, an AUC delegation completed a visit to China during which, together with their Chinese counterparts, they agreed to set up a working group. The group will formulate and present an Action Plan for 2016-2020.
They also discussed other cooperation initiatives including in the field of electricity within the industrialization, public health, peace and security.
China reaffirmed its strong and historic friendship with Africa, and pledged its support for the reform of the United Nations, which will allow Africa to have a Permanent Member in the Security Council.
PRESS BRIEFING OF COMMISSIONER FOR PEACE AND SECURITY
Within the frame work of the 25th AU Summit, H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, AU Commission, will on Monday 15th June 2015 at 12h00 hold a media briefing on the following issue:
- Peace and Security issues in Africa
The briefing will be held in the Media Briefing Room (-2 floor), at the Sandton Convention Center, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Journalists are invited to take part in the press briefing
Mr. Molalet Tsedeke; Media Center Coordinator
Directorate of Information and Communication; AU Commission
Tel: +27-84-7094277; E: mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
Face book: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanUnionCommission
Learn more at: http://summits.au.int/en/25thsummit
Accreditation - Observer Missions and Organizations
The Delegate Accreditation Form is to be completed and forwarded under cover of a Note Verbale to the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s State Protocol Operations Room to the regional emails as per the attached contact details by 1 June 2015.
Observers are requested to complete the attached Accreditation Form (1 + 1) and submit to the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s State Protocol Operations Room – email address: email@example.com together with a copy of the invitation from the African Union Commission and a covering Note Verbale by 1 June 2015.