ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday took over chairmanship of
the African Union (AU) during the heads of state and government summit of the
over the chairmanship from Guinea’s President Alpha Conde at the 30th
Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, within
the framework of the 30th AU Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
AU summit held from Jan. 22 to 29 is being convened under the theme “Winning the
Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
defining challenge is to create a pathway to prosperity for its people,
especially young people, said Kagame, who also leads the the chair of the Union
for a one-year term, and the chairmanship rotates among the five sub-regions of
countries need to work in unity, create a single continental market, integrate
their infrastructure and infuse their economies with technology, said Kagame in
his acceptance speech.
He called on
African countries to create a single continental market, integrate
infrastructure, infuse economies with technology and stay together.
said AU’s flagship initiatives, such as Agenda 2063, have tremendous value.
“nearly ready” to adopt the Continental Free Trade Area, said the new
chairperson. “It really needs to be done this year.”
him, freedom of movement for people in Africa “is achievable in 2018.”
chairperson calls for empowerment of young people
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
The African Union’s new Chairperson Paul Kagame on Sunday for the
continental organization to empower youth to have a better life.
is also Rwanda’s president, made the appeal at the opening session of the 30th
AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
Africans come of age in the same conditions as their parents and grandparents,
and sometimes the hardships ensured are even worse,” he said.
“Our job is
to make sure that every generation in Africa, enjoys a better life than the
previous one, but young Africans as professional men and women, have a full role
to play, we can’t build Africa without you,” further said Kagame.
Rwandan president cautioned African youth to not feel entitled to a better life
than their parents, rather work to achieve it.
should be able to enjoy the pleasure, of telling you how hard they had it at
your age, so you don’t take things for granted, and are inspired to work even
harder,” he advised.
over the AU Chairperson position for a one year period from Guinean President
Alpha Conde during the AU summit on Sunday.
With about 70
percent of Africa’s estimated 1 billion plus population categorized as youth,
the AU is tapping the potential of young people to meet its ambitious Agenda
UN General Assembly modifies name of int’l day
for Rwandan genocide
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
The UN General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution to change
the name of an international day in memory of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
resolution changes the designation of April 7 as “the International Day of
Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda” from the name of
“the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda” as used by a
December 2003 resolution.
introducing the Rwandan-drafted resolution, Rwandan ambassador to the United
Nations, Valentine Rugwabiza, told the General Assembly that the new text
captures the historical facts of what happened in 1994, which is a genocide
“against the Tutsi” and leaves no room for ambiguity.
accuracy and words are vital while referring to the genocide. The tactics of
genocide denial and revisionism are well-known and documented. Some people,
mostly those who were involved by action or omission, promote the theory of
double genocide in the futile belief that such suggestion might divert their own
responsibility,” she said.
resolution was adopted without vote. Yet it does not mean that the move was
without reservations from delegates.
Currie, the U.S. representative, said that changing the title of the resolution
“does not fully capture the magnitude of the genocide and of the violence
committed against other groups.”
people from other groups were also murdered for their opposition to the
atrocities against Tutsis, she noted.
“We will not
stand in the way of changing the title of the resolution. We believe it is
important to understand that our understanding of the circumstances of the
genocide has not narrowed.”
representative at the General Assembly also regretted the lack of consultations
over such an important matter.
genocide was committed by members of the Hutu majority government. An estimated
500,000 to 1 million Rwandans were brutally murdered during 100 days from April
7 to mid-July 1994, the overwhelming majority of the victims being Tutsis.
AU official calls on Africans to actively
utilize continental justice organs
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
African countries should actively utilize continental justice
organs to find appropriate and timely justice, an AU official said on Saturday.
the sidelines of the 30th AU Summit in Ethiopia, Richard
Ssewakiryanga, Presiding Officer at the AU Economic, Social and Cultural Council
(AU ECOSOCC), said citizens of African countries should utilize justice bodies
like the African Court on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) based in Arusha,
Tanzania instead of often looking to justice institutions from outside
since 2008, ACHPR works to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in
example the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which recently
successfully concluded prosecuting suspects in the 1994 genocide, shows African
justice systems do work,” said Ssewakiryanga.
were implicitly directed at the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in
Hague, Netherlands and functional since 2002.
The ICC has
been accused of disproportionately focusing on alleged crimes committed in
African countries by Africans, while failing to prosecute alleged crimes
committed by western countries in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Xinhua Writers Lyu Tianran, Wang Shoubao and Chen Chen ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua)
-- National flags of African countries were flying
along the Airport Road in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. The eight-lane road,
built by a Chinese company, was decorated for the ongoing 30th
African Union (AU) Summit held in the plateau city.
Fruitful China-Africa co-operation during AU
road, a welcome sign hanging on a viaduct of the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit
was greeting participants of the summit.
electrified light rail built and operated by Chinese companies is the first
light railway on the African continent with two lines of a total length of 34
km. It was 85 percent funded by China.
is a historic accomplishment in Ethiopia and a landmark phenomenon to the
country’s transportation sector in particular, said Ethiopian Minister of
Transport Workneh Gebeyehu on the launching ceremony in September 2015.
“This is the
fastest way to travel in the city,” said 19-year-old student Abel Gezahgen
aboard the light rail.
Chinese, they bring development to us,” he said. Outside the window,
Chinese-built skyscrapers and logos of Chinese companies came into view.
Sino-Ethiopian partnership is a comprehensive one and could be seen as “a model
for the South-South cooperation,” Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Tan Jian told
Xinhua in an interview in December.
relationship between Ethiopia and China is based on comprehensive, strategic and
cooperative partnership in all areas and at all levels,” he said.
Ethiopia’s largest trading partner, is a major player in Ethiopia’s investment,
trade and diplomatic landscape.
In the past
two decades alone, Chinese companies have invested close to 4 billion U.S.
dollars in Ethiopia, the Ethiopia Investment Commission revealed last month.
Chinese firms’ investment is the single largest foreign direct investment source
for Ethiopia in 2017, according to the commission.
Africa have excellent relations, I want the relations to continue to grow for
the mutual benefits for China and Africa,” said former Tanzanian President
Jakaya Kikwete after attending a side event of the AU summit at the China-funded
project consists of two main buildings, including a tower housing offices with a
capacity of 700 people and a conference center equipped with facilities for
top-level meetings. The grand hall of the conference boasts a capacity of 2,500,
while another meeting hall accommodates 700.
from the AU and its members states are meeting at the conference center for the
summit, taking place from Jan. 22 to 29, under the theme of anti-corruption.
“China is one
of the most important partners of Africa in all sectors, both bilaterally and
multilaterally,” said Abou bakr Hefny Mahmoud, Egyptian Permanent Representative
to the AU, on the sidelines of the summit.
As Africa is
concentrating on Agenda 2063, we hope that China will “sustain and support” the
agenda, said the envoy.
A few meters
outside the conference center, a Chinese-aided project dubbed the AU Integrated
Services Center was under construction. It will encompass among others an
accreditation facility, a cafeteria, and the AU Archives and Exhibition Center.
“We see it as
yet another step in the journey of a thousand miles that we have started with
the government of China, towards mutual friendship, solidarity and prosperity
for the peoples of Africa and the people of China,” said former chairperson of
the AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the groundbreaking ceremony of the