Dlamini-Zuma takes over as AU chief

2012-10-15 16:51

Addis Ababa - A female leader on Monday was inaugurated into the top leadership position at the African Union for the first time.

South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma took charge of the African Union commission where she will be in charge of peace and security functions and keeping track of the political and economic affairs of the continent. Dlamini-Zuma was most recently South Africa's minister of home affairs and also served as the country's minister of foreign affairs.

Outgoing AU chair Jean Ping gave the gavel to Dlamini-Zuma during a ceremony at the union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ping had held the position since 2008.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, who attended the ceremony, wished Dlamini-Zuma good success, but warned that her tasks will be arduous.

In her inaugural address, Dlamini-Zuma pledged to work for "a prosperous, peaceful and integrated Africa." After praising Africa's ancient civilizations, Dlamini-Zuma spoke of Africa's troubled centuries of slavery and colonialism, and then lauded post-colonial economic gains and peaceful transfers of power.

"In spite of this laudable progress, we must also acknowledge that there have been some difficulties and setbacks with pockets of instability and conflict," Dlamini-Zuma said. "It is therefore our responsibility as governments, as citizens, as regional bodies to ensure that the democratic process is irrevocable and to pledge ourselves to work for its success."

Dlamini-Zuma vowed "to spare no efforts" to try and resolve the conflict in Mali and the Sahel region she said poses a threat to spread.

"Drawing on the lessons learnt from recent conflicts on the continent, we will take appropriate measures to improve co-operation and co-ordination with the United Nations," said Dlamini-Zuma.

  • linds.ronhouse - 2012-10-15 17:19

    We wish Dlamini-Zuma and Africa success. May the next 50 years compensate for what was not done in the past 500 years. Time for Africa to unite and claim her place in the world economy.

      Onke Mdingi - 2012-10-15 18:00

      Go for it good girl, I know you can do it!! Your track record tells all.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-15 17:43

    Best of luck, Mrs Kkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. For starters, force EVERY African leader , to read the African Charter, written and signed by African leaders 8 years ago!!!! Here a few extracts from this charter !!! ""committed to promote the universal values and principles of democracy, , good governance, human rights and the right to development"" ""Seeking to entrench in the Continent a political culture of change of power based, on the holding of regular, free, fair and transparent elections conducted by competent, independent and impartial national electoral bodies"" Determined to promote and strengthen good governance through the institutionalization of transparency, accountability and participatory democracy; This leaves NO space to support dictators/terorist like gaddafi and alike !!!!!

  • louwhan.hoffmann - 2012-10-15 18:31

    There goes the continent...again.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-15 18:32

    Great, now Africa can disappear even faster!!

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-15 18:58

    Congrats Madam, you first task should be to ensure that AFRICOM is defeated in its infancy!

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