Africa must fly, says Dlamini-Zuma
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma yesterday led a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament in congratulating his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on her appointment as African Union (AU) Commission head.
Ms Dlamini-Zuma has served in various portfolios in the government since the dawn of the democratic era in 1994 and has frequently been mentioned as a possible challenger to lead the African National Congress (ANC) and become president of the country.
Mr Zuma said it was his honour to congratulate Ms Dlamini-Zuma and, "I must admit that it was not easy for us to let go of one of our senior and dedicated ministers.
"But I am confident we are all in agreement that it is for the greater good of the African continent.
"She is one of the longestserving members of Parliament and of Cabinet, of the free and democratic SA."
Mr Zuma said the AU had moved on from supporting liberation movements on the continent to helping Africa to find her economic freedom through spearheading unity, development and integration.
"It is remarkable that six of the world’s fastest 10 growing economies are African.
"In eight of the past 10 years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia," Mr Zuma said.
Ms Dlamini-Zuma said she was going to Addis Ababa — the Ethiopian headquarters of the AU — "not as a saviour, but as a humble servant of the people to contribute to collective continental efforts to create a better Africa in a better world".
She said it was in the "fundamental" interest of SA to pay focused attention to the integrated development of the Southern African Development Community region and to build the institutional capacity of the AU.
"Africa is poised to take flight and to fly high and we must not be left on the ground," Ms Dlamini-Zuma said.
Democratic Alliance MP Ian Davidson said Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s new in-tray would be full of challenges, "including bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau as well as promoting democracy and good governance in Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Madagascar and Zimbabwe."
She would also have the challenge of rolling out infrastructural development that would enhance economic growth.
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