Politics of Monday, 14 May 2012
The Pan African Business Forum has endorsed Dr Nkosozana Diaminio-Zuma’s candidature in next month’s African Union Commission Chairperson race, saying her win would be victory for gender equality and a fresh awakening to Pan African sentiments.
The Forum said in Accra at a press conference on Monday that the former South African Home Affairs Minister, would give the continent a new impetus for economic development and an important player in world politics if elected.
“If she is elected, it would be a victory for gender equality and indeed affirmative action for the whole continent since all three AU Chairmen up till now, have been men,” the Forum Executive President, Prince Prosper Ladislas Agbesi said.
The Pan African Business Forum, established in 2002 with a current membership of 350 African businessmen and women and professionals, aims at making the business climate in Africa conducive and cost effective for investors and businesses.
In January, Dr Diamini-Zuma stood against Jean Ping, a former Gabonese Foreign Affairs Minister and none garnered the required two-third majority votes to be elected the AU Commission Chairman, hence a re-run was slated for June.
“This can be integrated as a vote of no confidence in the tenure of Jean Ping so far. Or as a sign of frustration that the more deserving candidate; Dr Diamini-Zuma had been taken off the ballot,” Mr Agbesi said.
He said as one of the most respected and revered persons in South Africa, Dr Diamini-Zuma, a former wife of President Jacob Zuma, had received the endorsement of all member states of the South African Development Community (SADC).
“That was out of the realization that Dr Diamini-Zuma fits the bill perfectly for this all important continental position,” Agbesi said.
Dr Diamini-Zuma’s track record of accomplishment, Agbesi said, are enormous and that she promises to ensure that Africa retain its values and pursue its own needs through achieving a balance between the sovereignty of individual nations, peer mechanisms and international best practices that are advantages to regionalism.
“What is needed now is an AU chairman, who can not only serve as effective mediator and consensus builder among member states on a variety issues, but serve to cut through the many vested interests and point the continent in the right direction when making decisions in all those issues.
“This is where Dr Diamini-Zuma can be effective for the benefit of the AU continental body and indeed for the continent as a whole.
By electing Dr Diamini-Zuma, Agbesi further said: “We would be sending an unmistakable message to all those who doubt our continent’s resolve and to all those who for their own vested interests, would not want to see our re-emergence occur.”**