South Africa will host the 25th African Union assembly in Johannesburg in June or July 2015, the Presidency said on Sunday.
This was declared at the end of the 24th AU Summit concluded on Saturday after deliberation on a number of issues and the Adoption of Agenda 2063, a vision and action plan towards a prosperous and peaceful Africa.
President Jacob Zuma led the South African delegation to the summit where Zimbabwe was elected chair of the union for this year.
The AU Summit was held under the theme “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
The summit also focused on peace and security matters and the escalation of terrorism in parts of the continent, and the endorsement and adoption of Agenda 2063, whose 10-year action plan will be adopted at the next AU Summit.
The summit also looked at the AU’s coordinated response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as well as development and administrative-related issues with regard to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and on alternative sources of financing the AU and its programmes.
During the summit, the AU Peace and Security Council met to discuss security on the continent, focusing on the situation in the Great Lakes Region, South Sudan and the threat posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria and the surrounding countries.
As a member of the Peace and Security Council, President Zuma participated in the meeting of the council.
The growth and threat of terrorism by Boko Haram in certain parts of the continent was discussed.
President Zuma indicated that the countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger) established a multinational force and sought endorsement from the AU.
“The council endorsed the establishment of this multinational force and decided that the requisite financial and material resources be provided for this mechanism,” said President Zuma.
With regard to the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a special meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) took place on the margins of the summit to consider the current developments in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region.
The matter was also discussed at summit level, where it was decided that the negative forces in the region must be disarmed as a matter of priority.
President Zuma stated that the operationalisation and time frame for the disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation of these negative forces were one of the key issues during discussions.
Focus on South Sudan, Ebola
On the current developments in South Sudan, President Zuma said member states of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) met on the side-lines of the AU Summit in an attempt to finalise the agreement related to the modalities on how the government of South Sudan would be structured.
“A report on the situation in South Sudan will be presented to the AU Peace and Security Council once negotiations, which are at a delicate stage at the moment, are concluded,” said President Zuma.
The summit also reviewed the ongoing progress made in addressing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone).
In this light, the summit reiterated the need to urgently establish the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention as a result of this epidemic.
It was agreed that this centre, which will coordinate medical research on the continent, should be operationalised this year.
President Zuma elaborated on the AU Summit’s deliberations on the issue of alternative sources of financing the African Union.
It had been agreed that assessed contributions will need to be adapted according to the GDPs of member states. Domestic sources of funding will be the prerogative of each member State according to their own financial structures.
President Zuma stressed that it was imperative that the AU independently fund and implement its own programmes without conditions.
In this regard, President Zuma stated that in order to ensure the financial independence of the AU, the summit established the AU Foundation, which is a mechanism to raise funds by member states and in partnership with business.