Addis Ababa — Ethiopia should continue the significant contributions it has been making to the former Organization of African Unity and the present African Union, former Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said.
The African continent celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its successor, the African Union, today.
Former African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who attended the celebration ceremony in Addis Ababa, told ENA that the African Union has reached this stage by overcoming many challenges.
And Ethiopia has played a very critical role in the OAU-AU from the very beginning, she said.
“Ethiopia, from the very beginning has played a very critical role, and it must continue to play that role. Ethiopia itself must be peaceful. I am hoping that those efforts of ensuring peace are underway.”
Noting that Ethiopia has been progressing, Zuma said if you take where Ethiopia was in the 60 years and where it’s now? There has been enormous progress.
“We appreciate that. We appreciate that Ethiopia has ensured that it connects us through aviation. It has the largest Airlines. We are proud of that and support it.”
The former African Union Commission Chairperson said:”I am very happy to be in Addis, which is an African capital. It is our capital and I’m happy to see the progress since I left…. It’s important that we celebrate every year the African Union with the aim of ensuring that we make progress. Every year must be better than the previous year. This year must be better than last year.”
According to the former chairperson, there are still many internal problems that continue to challenge the continent although Africa has many achievements to be proud of.
“We made progress in terms of decolonization. The challenges are now internal because we still see conflicts within countries. I think that is what we must now deal with. Not country should be in conflict with itself.” The AU must make sure that the guns are silenced.
Zuma further noted that the continent has progressed in terms of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which “we must implement.”
Yet, she underscored that Africa cannot succeed unless it industrializes because manufacturing goods, building proper infrastructure and free movement among the countries are crucial.
Otherwise,”we will be a consumer market for other people’s goods. We (however) must consume our goods. We must trade in our goods and sell to the world as well. I think that progress must be accelerated.”
Above all, Zuma stressed that Africans must be able to feed themselves. “A continent that does not feed itself is not worth anything. We must be able to feed ourselves. We have enough land. We do have rain. We have people. So, we should be able to feed ourselves.”