Space travel and high-speed rail in Africa’s future?

2014-01-30 11:14

African space travel, a continental high-speed rail link, an African lingua franca, KiSwahili, and chocolates from Accra are all part of African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s dream for Africa’s future.

It was all contained in an email to a future friend called “Kwame”, which she read at the opening of the AU assembly of heads of state, which started in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this morning.

Dressed in a shiny, ethereal traditional outfit, she had many people chuckling and applauding as she read out the email.

She concluded the email by saying: “I will bring along some of the chocolates from Accra that you so love, and that the children can now afford.”

UN deputy secretary-general Jan Eliasson said he was inspired by her vision for 2063 in the email.

The AU summit kicked off on time this morning despite queues of people still outside waiting to pass through two X-ray security checkpoints.

Tea, cakes and fruit were out and ready for tea time later outside the large assembly hall, unlike the three days before, when almost no refreshments were served.

Outside in the streets of central Addis Ababa, traffic earlier came to a standstill as streets were cleared and blocked so that blue-light brigades and black luxury cars could ferry heads of state and dignitaries to the headquarters unhindered.

People got out of minibus taxis and made their way to work on foot through the traffic-free streets, dodging the fast-driving official cars.

The summit takes place today and tomorrow.

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