File photo: Phill Magakoe
File photo: Phill Magakoe

ANC Lekgotla: SA vows to use AU chairmanship to create 'positive legacy'

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jan 20, 2020

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Durban - South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), would use its chairmanship of the African Union (AU) to create a positive legacy for the continent, said the party’s president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa, who is also the South African state president, was elected at the 32nd AU assembly of heads of state and government to chair the AU in 2020.

He succeeds president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and will officially take up the position in February. 

He told media on Monday at the end of a two-day ANC summit held in Pretoria that South Africa takes over the chairmanship “at a crucial time for both the AU and our continent”.

“This is a time that should be characterised by positive dynamism and a number of great opportunities for the complex challenges facing the African continent." 

Among the various issues facing the AU are institutional reform and financing of the continental body, peace and security on the continent, developments related to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and negotiations for a new cooperation agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries and the European Union after 2020.

“In pursuance of South Africa’s chairing of the AU with progressive political parties we will work with a number of countries in our continent, we will achieve the over-arching goal of the Africa Union which is silencing the guns on our continent. Already the challenges in this regard are quite enormous as there are a number of conflicts that are still raging on our continent,” said Ramaphosa.

He said South Africa was committed to Africa’s economic development.

“The economic, social and political integration will be prominent in the work that we will be doing particularly on the economic side in relation to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.”

“The other issue we seek to pursue as chair of the African Union is the empowerment of women, particularly in relation to the representation of women in various governance structures, as well as economic empowerment of women. We will seek to spread the message for the empowerment of women as strongly as possible and will be willing to work with various agencies in this regard,” said Ramaphosa.

He added that the ANC summit, also known as a “Lekgotla”, appreciated the continued relations that South Africa had at a “multi-lateral level with a number of countries” including Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) partners. 

He affirmed South Africa's support for the One China Policy.

The policy asserts that there is only one state of China, as opposed to the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan. Mainland China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will be reunited in the future.  

The ANC also reiterated its support for “the oppressed people of Palestine and the Sahrawi people in their quest for self-determination".

African News Agency (ANA)

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