“AU to play lead role in addressing African challenges”
Harare, (New Ziana) – African countries have agreed to play a lead role in addressing peace and security challenges bedeviling the continent instead of letting outsiders to do so, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday.
Speaking in a wide ranging interview on arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he attended the 33rd summit of African Heads of State and Government, President Mnangagwa said the security situation in West and North Africa, particularly Libya, dominated the meeting.
“The entire Summit came to one word that we as African leadership should come together and resolve problems which African states are facing rather than allowing foreign authorities to interfere in attempting to resolve domestic issues of African states,” he said.
Foreign powers, who caused the problem in the first place when they removed former President Muammar Gaddafi from power, are currently playing a lead role in trying to find lasting peace in Libya as warring factions continue to battle for control.
Security situations are also precarious in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan among others.
The just ended AU Summit ran under the theme “Silencing the guns: Creating conducive condition for Africa’s development.”
Turning to Zimbabwe’s accession to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), President Mnangagwa said the country should have joined the club earlier.
Zimbabwe on Saturday became the 39th country to join the APRM, a tool for enhancing governance and democracy on the continent through monitoring and assessment by other member countries
“I did not see any problem why we had not joined. It is a very good problem where we interrogate issues of governance and funding, so Zimbabwe is now on board,” he said.
On energy, an issue that was of focus at the Africa Business Forum hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, President Mnangagwa said Africa will not achieve its development objective without improving power generation and access to electricity.
“Energy is a cross cutting challenge. However Zimbabwe is in a unique challenge that while the other members of the AU can access lines of credit easily, Zimbabwe does not have that possibility, that is the unique position in which we are,” he said.
Sanctions imposed on the country by western countries for the past two decades have all but blocked Harare’s access to global concessionary funding to spearhead major infrastructure projects.
During the AU Summit, President Mnangagwa stressed to other African leaders that imposition of unilateral sanctions, which Western countries, primarily the United States, have slapped on smaller countries, was regressive, and inimical to international peace and cooperation.
President Mnangagwa said modernisation and industrialisation will only be achieved with improved access to energy.