Change in the leadership of the African Union could create an opportunity to make the AU more efficient, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.
“I will go and render my services there as best as I can,” she told a business briefing in Sandton.
“I think it would be good to get a change in the AU to try and improve the administration there... We can try and make it a more efficient and effective organisation.”
Dlamini-Zuma, who is seeking election as chair of the AU, said it would not be difficult to unite the union despite differences between Anglophone (English-speaking) and Francophone (French-speaking) countries.
“You are implementing programmes that have been agreed upon by everybody, so you are not going to be consulting the Anglophone and the Francophone,” she said.
“You will be taking what they have decided collectively and so implement it without fear or favour... I also think it is something we should eventually walk away from. I am not Anglophone, I'm Zulu.”
If she was elected, she would be serving the AU and South Africa as part of the AU, guided by the organisation's regulations as a whole.
“I don't think it will have a direct impact, but if the AU is running smoothly and efficiently, that is a benefit to all of us.”
She said that to unite the countries of Africa it would be important to figure out what drove them at a continental level as there were many differences between them.
“We need to look at what unites us now; driving economical development and dealing with underdevelopment and poverty... not try and make us the same.”
The AU's elections in January ended in a stalemate with neither AU Commission chairman Jean Ping of Gabon, nor Dlamini-Zuma able to garner the required two-thirds majority despite several rounds of voting.
Ping has held the position since September 2008.
The AU then resolved that Ping, a former Gabonese foreign minister, should remain at the helm of the organisation until new polls were held.
The election is expected to take place at the AU's summit in Addis Ababa from Monday until July 16. – Sapa