Is Africa ready for Ms Fix-it?

2012-01-21 11:30

The African Union (AU) has had a bad 2011. Apart from the usual problems – lack of money, inertia about the dodgy dictators in its midst and infighting that cripple the work of the organisation – it was also roundly ignored last year by the United Nations on the Libyan conflict. While the AU was uhming and ahing about what do about Muammar Gaddafi, the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation bombed Libya, captured Gaddafi and split the spoils.

And all the AU could do was sit and watch.

The South African government says it has the perfect answer to the AU’s impotence – Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Known locally as Ms Fix-it, she has announced that she wants the job as the AU commission chairperson – which means she will be in charge of the AU on a day-to-day level.

Everyone may agree that she is fit to govern, but for some, like Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, Equatorial Guinea dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema – who is also the AU chairperson?– and many others, Dlamini-Zuma presents a threat.

Also expectations of South African foreign policy will skyrocket and the notorious flipflopping of late – like with Ivory Coast and the National Transitional Council in Libya – will not be tolerated.

We hope Dlamini-Zuma gets the opportunity to show her mettle on a continental platform and becomes the AU commission chairperson, but more than that we hope Africa is ready for her.

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