Saturday, May 25, 2013

African Union Celebrates Golden Jubilee

AU celebrates Golden Jubilee

Saturday, 25 May 2013 00:00
From Caesar Zvayi in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Zimbabwe Herald

THE African Union today achieves the milestone of 50 years of existence and over 50 African heads of state and governments, along with 41 former leaders, will be joined by global leaders to celebrate the AU’s Golden Jubilee here.

Being held under the theme Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, the celebrations come at a time the continental body is accused of deviating from the principles of the founding fathers as its agenda is being set by donors who bankroll the bulk of the bloc’s budget.

President Mugabe, who joins over 50 incumbent leaders and 41 former heads of states and governments at the celebrations, is on record bemoaning the loss of focus and deviation from the founding principles of the then OAU by the AU, saying some AU member states were now working with the erstwhile colonisers to the detriment of continental peace and stability.

Cases in point are how the West was left to run riot in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire while AU leaders folded their arms.

Many expect that when African leaders discuss Agenda 2063 which is their envisaged plan of action for the AU over the next 50 years, they will strive to re-orient the AU back to the vision of the founding fathers who met here on May 25 1963 to adopt the OAU Charter and form the continental bloc, the forerunner of the AU.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations will today begin with a working breakfast of the NEPAD Heads of States and Governments Orientation Working Committee that will be followed by the opening ceremony of the celebrations that will precede debate on the Jubilee theme, Pan Africanism and African Renaissance.

There will be a youth parade bringing together youths from the continent’s six regional economic groupings — Sadc, Comesa, Ecowas, East African Community, Economic Community of Central African States and Community of Sahel-Saharan States.

After the march there will be lunch for the leaders hosted by AU commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, after which there will be commemoration of the Golden Jubilee Anniversary in the colossal Millennium Hall at the new AU headquarters. This will be coupled with a cultural session that will bring together musical groups from all over the continent, and a soccer match pitting Ethiopia against Sudan.

The AU 21st Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly is pencilled for tomorrow.

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