ADDIS ABABA —
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has hailed Zambia’s recent presidential elections saying they have set a high bar for the continent’s remaining 17 elections planned for 2015.
Dlamini-Zuma, in congratulating the people of Zambia for “organizing an exemplary, successful and peaceful election”, said she was heartened by the Zambians for responding to her call, and those of other leaders made during late President Michael Sata’s funeral, for a peaceful and smooth transition.
“The chairperson is gratified with this violence-free election in Zambia, which sets the pace for the remaining 17 elections planned to take place on our continent in 2015,” said in a statement.
Dlamini-Zuma also praised the Zambian Independent Electoral Commission for conducting the peaceful poll, which resulted in the election of Edgar Lungu, of the ruling Patriotic Front, as the new president of Zambia.
Lungu’s mandate runs until elections in 2016, completing the remainder of late President Sata's term following his death in October 2014.
Meanwhile, speaking at the opening of the 26th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union ahead of this week’s heads of state and government summit, the AU Commission chairperson said the annual report on the activities of the Commission in 2014 has been submitted for consideration by the continent’s foreign ministers.
The report highlights the work of the Commission on Agenda 2063 and steps undertaken to accelerate continental integration and “realize the aspirations of the peoples for a united, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its people and acting as a dynamic force in global affairs”.
Agenda 2063 is set for adoption by this Summit. Following the Summit, a meeting will be called to do more work on the 10-year plan as well as the process of integration and domestication of Agenda 2063 in national and regional development plans.
“The work on the 10-year Plan means a concerted shift towards focusing on implementation of this continental vision. A number of critical issues arise from this, which we would like to bring to the attention of the Executive Council,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
“The centrality of human development and security in all of this cannot be over-estimated, as we are learning the hard lessons from the Ebola Virus Outbreak on the need to have resilient public health systems, and for integrated responses.”
She added that the AU will continue to highlight domestic resource mobilization as a critical success factor for Agenda 2063. This, Dlamini-Zuma said, will ensure predictable funding of Africa’s institutions and programs, ranging from funding of elections, integration, project preparations for infrastructure and implementation of the African Mining Vision, among others.