Masisi Attends AU Summit

| June 14, 2015

Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi left for Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday June 14 to attend the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and government of the African Union (AU) which ends on Monday June 15.

Elaborating on strategic issues to be discussed at the Summit, during an interview, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning’s secretary for development and budget, Mr Cornelius Dekop said the summit was preceded by a ministerial retreat- where Botswana was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

The agenda of the ministerial meeting, Mr Dekop said, was to look, discuss and make a decision on the AU Agenda 2063, which he said, was basically a broad plan from which certain issues emanated that Heads of State had to take decisions on.

One of the issues to be discussed includes the future funding of the African Commission and the AU in terms of alternative sources of financing.

Currently, AU and the Commission, Mr Dekop said were 96 per cent funded by development partners.

“A decision was taken in the past that AU and its Commission should have some semblance of independence in terms of funding.

As they put it, African problems should get solved by African Solutions or African solution to African problems. So, that’s one of the issues that are going to be discussed,” he said.

The Summit, he said, was going to consider new formulae for funding from member states and also discuss other issues like free movement of people, goods and services on the continent.

Responding to a question on how Botswana would benefit from deliberations around the issue of free movement of people, goods and services, Mr Dekop said this was an agreed principle in regional organisations, such as SADC and AU.

“Like everything in life, there are risks involved that need to be looked at. Botswana is a citizen of the international community and the African continent and in principle, the extent and dynamics of the free movement needed to be discussed,” he said.

Mr Dekop noted that in his view it would be important to facilitate the most efficient active movement of goods and services.

Commenting on how far Botswana was in terms of empowering women for development, taking into consideration that the Summit theme was, Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063, Mr Dekop said Botswana had made huge strides in terms of empowering women.

“We have reviewed laws and legislations geared towards women empowerment unlike in the past. We also have women in positions of authority in government, private sector and parastatals. But, we can still do more to move forward towards empowering our mothers and our girl child,” he said.

The Summit will also discuss other strategic issues such as peace and security in the continent, governance with focus on African governance architecture and elections, wildlife conservation and protection and the illicit financial flows.

The Summit was preceded by other preparatory meetings including the 30th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee, which was held on June 7 to 8, 2015 and the 27th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, which was held on June 10 to 12, 2015.

Source : Foreign Affairs ministry

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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