Africa House, the new home of the African Union in the United States of America, has been officially commissioned by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma, addressing African and American diplomats at the event, said the building should be used by all Africans in the diaspora as they seek ways to contribute towards development on the continent.
She said Africa is making huge strides in addressing governance issues, adding the majority of Africans are now living in peaceful and better governed countries than 20 years ago, adding the continent's resources should benefit all its citizens.
“We would like to move away from describing Africa as rich,” she said. “We want our people to be rich as well. So we are doing all we can to empower women to participate in all spheres of development.”
“It’s not that we are trying to ignore or ostracize men, we have realized that we will make much broader impact on the continent by involving women and the youth so they can work together with the men to transform Africa.”
She added: “There’s social and economic transformation in Africa. We need our youth to get skilled so they can make an impact and contribute towards that growth so that Africa takes its rightful place in the world. Watch this space, things are happening; Africa is definitely on the move.”
Dr. Dlamini-Zuma said a prosperous Africa would lead to increased global prosperity, markets, innovation and trade.
“We must believe in Africa,” she said. “If Africa could free itself from colonialism and apartheid, then Africa surely should be able to create a prosperous and integrated continent at peace with itself that would be a dynamic force in the world.”
“So as we therefore gather this week at the invitation of President Obama to strengthen the relations between Africa and the United States, we hope that based on our understanding of our shared goals of peace, inclusion and common prosperity, we can indeed build greater cooperation and a greater bond with the US.”
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, was also in attendance. She applauded the AUC for its efforts in working towards building a better Africa.
African artists based in the U.S. entertained guests, among them the African diaspora community, African-American activists and African and American diplomats.