AU summit called for integration: Zuma

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President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Reuters

Pretoria - African leaders have agreed to speed up processes of integration and connectivity throughout the continent, President Jacob Zuma said in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Zuma told diplomats and media at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse that the just ended 20th African Union summit had resolved that integration of communities would be key to poverty eradication efforts.

“To secure decent livelihoods and the free movement of people with goods and services, the African Union agreed that we must accelerate integration and connectivity,” he said.

Zuma said that at the summit, chairwoman of the AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had urged the continental bloc to prioritise the development of youth and women through education.

On Tuesday, Zuma received credentials and welcomed eleven ambassadors and high commissioners to South Africa.

The diplomats represented countries including Finland, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Burundi, Australia and Somalia.

Zuma said the R100 million pledged by Pretoria last year to assist post-conflict projects in Somalia would be directed towards development of the war-ravaged state.

“We are hoping to deploy a team to Mogadishu in the near future to ensure that they (the team) begin to work on the projects. We hope to strengthen our bilateral relation with all countries represented here,” he said.

Turning to soccer, Zuma said he hoped Bafana Bafana would exploit the home-ground advantage and excel in the ongoing African Cup of Nations tournament. - Sapa


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