President Zuma arrives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the AU Summit
14 Jul 2012His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is leading a high-level South African Government delegation to the 19th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly, which is scheduled for 15 and 16 July 2012.
The Summit takes place under the theme, "Boosting Intra-African Trade". Speaking in Addis Ababa in January 2012, President Zuma recalled that in 2011, the SADC, COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and EAC (East African Community) signed a Tripartite Free Trade Agreement. The agreement combines the economies of 26 countries with a population of over 600 million people.
President Zuma said: "The Free Trade Agreement will facilitate the movement of goods among the signatories to the agreement. We have to work towards similar agreements so that intra-African trade is enhanced."
On the planned election for AU Commissioners, President Zuma said: "It is in the best interests of the African people in general and the AU in particular that the matter be finalised at this Summit. We trust that the continent will rally behind the Southern Africa candidate. Since the formation of the OAU in 1963, Southern Africa has never had an opportunity to serve the AU at the level of Chairperson of the Commission."
The election of the chairperson of the African Union Commission was postponed after voting deadlocked in the election race between the incumbent, Gabonese diplomat and politician Jean Ping, and the SADC candidate, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
President Zuma's delegation includes International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngqakula, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.
For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +27 82 884 5974
Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
14 Jul 2012
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