17 July 2012
Minister Dlamini Zuma officially recognised as new Chairperson of the AU Commission
Following the election on 15 July 2012 of candidates to the African Union (AU) Commission, the 19th Ordinary Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU has officially recognized the South African Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, as the new Chairperson of the AU Commission.
In a speech accepting her nomination, Minister Dlamini Zuma said she was humbled by the honour bestowed on her by the leadership of the AU. Minister Dlamini Zuma undertook to work towards the unity of the AU, as well as towards peace, stability, development and the upliftment of women and children.
Minister Dlamini Zuma also paid tribute to her predecessors, including Dr Jean Ping, for laying a solid foundation from which she would endevour to build a more efficient and effective AU Commission.
Said Minister Dlamini Zuma: “We shall continue to draw strength and inspiration from the work undertaken thus far by the Commission under the successive and able leadership of both former President Alpha Konare and the outgoing Chairperson, Dr Ping, respectively in advancing the objectives of the AU.”
The election of Minister Dlamini Zuma marks an important milestone in the history of the AU. Minister Dlamini Zuma, who becomes the first Southern African and the first woman to lead the Commission, takes over from Dr Jean Ping, who led the AU Commission since 2008. The election also signals the commitment of African leaders to concretising their resolutions, particularly the resolution to declare the decade between 2010 and 2020 as the Decade of Women.
Speaking on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma paid tribute to the leadership of the AU for giving a candidate from Southern Africa an opportunity to contribute to the work of the AU. President Zuma said the unity of the AU would play a crucial role towards the success of the team to be led by the new AU Commission Chairperson.
President Zuma said: "The new Chairperson of the AU Commission and her team are entrusted with a heavy responsibility. Through a democratic vote, the leaders of Africa have expressed their confidence in Dr Dlamini Zuma's abilities to discharge the tasks that are embedded in the work of the Commission."
President Zuma reiterated an earlier message, saying: “Our people should take pride that the Heads of State and Government of the AU have elected Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to the position of the AU Commission Chairperson. With this appointment, Dr Dlamini Zuma, who has served our country with distinction, becomes the servant of the Continent and accountable to the AU.”
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Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
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