Media Statement

01 February 2017

President Zuma returns from the African Union Summit in Ethiopia

President Jacob Zuma has returned to Pretoria, after concluding his Working Visit to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia where he attended the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, held under the theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth".

President Zuma said that he was particularly pleased that the Summit was able to discuss and finalize critical matters including institutional reforms of the African Union aimed at enhancing the continental body's governance systems as well as issues around peace and security in the continent.

“The summit managed to thoroughly discuss the recommendations of the report by Rwandan President Paul Kagame on institutional reform of the AU which will help transform the way the organisation is operating and improve its governance systems," the President said.

He added that the report further presented methods on how the African Union should raise funds to finance its projects and be financially self-dependent, without relying much on external donors which would  help the organisation to take noble and independent decisions.

“We also received a report on the political and security situation in Libya and the Summit accepted the progress made by the AU High Level Committee on Libya to resolve the impasse and create a fully operational Government National Accord,” said President Zuma.

The AU Summit also discussed and deliberated on the application by the Kingdom of Morocco to be re-admitted as a member of the African Union, with the majority of Member States finally voting to admit the Kingdom into the AU.

“We have accepted the outcomes of the summit on the readmission of Morocco to promote unity and coherence within the continent. However, there were strong views from member states that by virtue of acceding to the Constitutive Act, Morocco should abide by all provisions of the Act and immediately resolve its relations with the Western Sahara to ensure territorial integrity between the two nations. The summit agreed on the view that the African Union should prioritize the impasse between the two countries to change the status quo, otherwise we would risk undermining the principles on which the African Union was constituted, as articulated in the Constitutive Act,” President Zuma said.

The President further said the summit also emphasized on a need for an integrated approach to improve youth development across the continent and that member states should invest in young people to fight the high level of unemployment, poverty and ensure full participation of young people in the economic activities.

President Zuma also congratulated Chad Foreign Minister, Mr Moussa Mahamat, who was elected as the new African Union Commission Chairperson,  replacing South Africa's Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma whose term came to an end in June 2016 and was extended by the AU leaders till the January 2017 Summit to enable the AU to elect her successor.

President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of State Security, Mr David Mahlobo; Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Jeff Radebe; Minister of Public Service and Administration, Adv Ngoako Ramatlhodi; Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, and Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela.

Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or

Issued by: The Presidency




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