Johannesburg (HAN) June 13, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Security News. The 27th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council opens in Johannesburg
The 27th ordinary Session of the Executive Council opened on Thursday and in an opening statement Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, welcoming the Foreign said the Executive Council had just emerged from a two-day Retreat, where they had discussed the first 10 Year Plan of Action for Agenda 2063. She said the Retreat had also strategized on the challenges of integration, with a focus on free movement of people and goods, as well as the harmonization of higher education in Africa.
She welcomed the trade agreement reached by COMESA, the EAC and SADC on Wednesday and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade negotiations this year. These would help to expand inter-African trade and create jobs and wealth, she said. Dr. Dlamini Zuma notes that the Executive Council recognized that the Agenda 2063 priorities, which included an African skills revolution and inter-continental connections through transport, energy and ICT links were critical enablers for increasing economic integration and shared prosperity.
A related matter was speeding up free movement of people and goods, and “We must therefore keep in mind the concerns of the majority of our continent’s population, our young men and women, for access to opportunities and a voice. “ Dr. Dlamini Zuma said the challenge of xenophobia and the tragedy of thousands of young Africans undertaking perilous journeys across the seas should motivate the Ministers to speed up implementation of Agenda 2063, so people could use their skills in Africa and find jobs there.
The AU Commission Chairperson said the adoption of the First Ten year Plan of Action for Agenda 2063 would take the AU to the next step of implementation and help the continent move forward on “the unstoppable quest for a peaceful, integrated, prosperous and people centered Africa, that takes its rightful place in the world.” The Chairperson of the Executive Council, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs then declared the Session of the Executive Council opened.
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