Special coverage on the 50th founding anniversary of the OAU

Time to ask what went wrong over the last 50 years: Dr. Tewdros

Emnet Assefa

Speaking at the 23rd  ordinary session of the AU Executive Council this morning, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr.Tedros Adhanom said it’s time for member states of the African Union (AU) to ask what went wrong during the continental body’s 50 year’s journey.

Dr.Tedros said this in reference to the countless woes the continent is experiencing today. It was time to ask what went wrong to the greatest hope and exhilaration on the Continent’s renewal that the founders of the OAU had.

“We need to have a frank exchange of views on the silent issue,” said the Minister, adding that the blame should also be shared by the luck of leadership and governance aside from external influences.

According to Dr. Tedros the current glimmer of hope the continent is enjoying over several areas such as peace and security and economic development was only the beginning of the renaissance of Africa.

Under Secretary General of the UNECA, Carlos Lopes, on his part said “we are on the cusp of an African renaissance” but the renaissance can only be complete when every African voice is heard and taken in to account. He also said that Africa needs to tune its relation with the international community insisting on more profitable partnerships and “saying enough when endeavours are not in favour of Africa”.

According to him, tuning the nature of Africa’s relation with the global community, resolving issues related to conflict and owning its transformation agenda are the key strategic issues that Africa should take in to consideration in order to achieve its transformation.

Dr. Tedros has invited members of the Executive Committee for a ministerial retreat in the city of Bahir Dar, 578 kms north of Addis Ababa that he said will be “a chance to exchange views and contribute to the formulation of the Vision 2063 taking account of the lessons from the past.”

“Africa Vision 2063” is an initiative to branch Africa’s economies to joining the ranks of emerging economies in the next 50 years. It focuses on value addition in the continent’s natural resources, increasing inter-African trade, improving skills and enhancing job creation for the youth, improving the quality of the population to achieve demographic dividend and boasting science, technology and innovation.

The executive committee will be discussing on several issues including draft proclamation on the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU and report of the commission on the post 2015 development agenda of the continent, preparing documents to be adopted by the heads of states’ meeting which will be held over the weekend.


Photo Caption: members of AU’s Executive Council pose for a photo after their meeting this morning.

Photo Credit – Emnet Assefa/Addis Standard  

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