Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


African leaders first post-Gaddafi summit

26 January 2012, 09:53

Addis Ababa - The African Union is preparing for its first summit since the death of its founder Muammar Gaddafi, amid a drive by southern nations to wrest influence from the late Libyan's West African allies.

Many AU summits have been dominated by talks on the continent's conflict hot spots and contests for the bloc's rotating chairmanship, held for a year by a president from one of its five regions.

However, the election for the post of chairman of the AU commission - the 54-member body's main executive arm - is likely to take centre stage after South Africa's Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma mounted a challenge to the incumbent from Gabon, Jean Ping.

Sources close to Ping say he is confident of re-election, counting on support from French-speaking West and Central Africa countries.

But Dlamini-Zuma, the ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, has launched a tough campaign and has the backing of the 15-member Southern African Development Community.

South Africa has been lobbying hard across the continent to drum up support to win the two thirds of the vote needed, cast in a secret ballot.

For the AU, "one of the most anticipated moments" at this year's meeting will be those elections for the top AU positions, officials said.

AU spokesperson Noureddine Mezni said: "The focus is on the election," which will be held on January 30.

The January 29-30 summit's official theme is "Boosting Intra-African Trade," with hopes to promote economic links between African countries, who traditionally have had their strongest trade ties with former colonial powers.

Sahel insecurity

Leaders will also focus on the long-running conflict in Somalia, where the AU has a 10 000-strong force protecting the country's fragile Western-backed government from the al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militia.

Mezni said that the summit will also discuss insecurity in the Sahel region, where al-Qaeda linked fighters also operate in several countries.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the summit alongside Jia Qinglin, chair of China's political advisory body - the People's Political Consultative Conference.

In a demonstration of strengthening ties between Africa and China, Jia will attend the inauguration of the new Chinese-built AU headquarters, a high-tech building that cost $200m.

With Kadhafi gone, Libya - which used to provide around 15% of the AU's budget - will be represented by Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib.

Credited with the founding the AU in Libyan town of Sirte in 1999, the late Libyan leader was famous for hours-long speeches, flamboyant garbs and political clout as a key AU financier.

"We are pleased to receive the prime minister of Libya," said Maxwell Mkwezalamba, the AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs.

West African chair

"He will be given the opportunity to address the assembly and to testify their commitment to [being] a member state."

A new Libyan permanent representative will also be appointed, replacing the previous envoy under Gaddafi.

The organisation only recognised Libya's new Islamist leaders last September, after having failed to assert itself as a mediator in the conflict.

Leaders will also choose a new chair for the pan-African body, an annual secret ballot held every January.

The next chair will come from the west African region to replace the current one, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, whose election was condemned by rights group over his poor rights record at home.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh or Benin's leader Boni Yayi are Obiang's likely successors, according to diplomatic sources.


Join in the conversation on News24 Kenya’s Facebook page.

Get the latest news by following us on Twitter


Gambia announces withdrawal from ICC

26 October 2016, 09:03

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Four wards to elect new MCAs in b...

This follows the death of former office holders between April and August this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Justice Isaac Lenaola appointed a...

He replaces retired Justice Philip Tunoi.

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...