WINDHOEK - President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the election to office of South African Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as the new chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, is a significant “victory” for women.
“It is very significant to the people of Southern Africa because in the history of the AU, she is the first woman to head the Commission. The AU never before had a candidate from our region. It is also very significant for the women of Africa, and perhaps the world.
“So this is a victory for SADC and for the women of Africa and indeed the women of the world,” he said after returning from the 19th African Union Heads of State and Government 2012 Summit yesterday. The summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over the weekend.
President Pohamba said the AU Summit had a long list of items on its agenda but the most important one was the election of the new chairperson of the Commission and the deputy of the AU.
Other matters that were discussed included the endorsement of Namibia’s application to host the Green Climate Fund Secretariat.
“The AU has endorsed it and we are just waiting to see what will be the outcome,” he said. Namibia is competing with countries like the Federal Republic of Germany, South Korea, Poland and Mexico to host the Green Climate Fund Secretariat.
The Summit also discussed the conflicts in Somalia, the Republic of Mali and renewed fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pohamba said the Summit decided to do everything possible to ensure that the integrity of the Republic of Mali is maintained.
He said ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) member states have been working hard on the issue and have been encouraged to do everything possible, even if it means to intervene militarily so that those who have occupied Mali or part of it, will be forced to leave so that Mali can return to peace.
He said the Summit also encouraged Burundi and Uganda to send troops to Somalia to return the country to peace and democracy.
President Pohamba said there would always be challenges to implement decisions taken in time. The theme of the Summit, Pohamba said, was trade between member states of the organization.
During his address President Pohamba urged member states to mobilize resources to implement some of the projects that were on the table. “Sometimes these decisions are not implemented because of a lack of resources,” reiterated Pohamba, who suggested that donors should only add to the resources that the member states are able to mobilize on their own.