The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dina Mufti, on Wednesday (January 16) briefed local and foreign journalists on preparations underway for the upcoming AU Summit and the celebration of the 50th golden jubilee of the former Organization of the African Unity (OAU) and the current African Union (AU).
Ambassador Dina said the necessary preparations are being undertaken by the National Committee comprising different stakeholders in Ethiopia and is now in full speed. He said: "film festivals, musical extravaganza, sports, symposiums, seminars, exhibitions and helicopter flight arts are among the programs designed to celebrate the golden jubilee colorfully."
The celebration will start on January 27 which will also be the date that Ethiopia will assume its Chairmanship of the AU. The celebration will continue until May 25. Ambassador Dina also noted Ethiopia's commitment to make the celebration very colorful as it marks the 50th year establishment of the organization which is the defining moment for the African renaissance. He also called on the media professionals to play their part by giving the necessary coverage in all the courses of the big African event. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established an office in its compound with a view to organize regular briefing sessions to exchange information on the celebration with journalists," he added.
He further explained that the decision to establish the AU/OAU's headquarters in Addis Ababa and to celebrate its 50th golden jubilee at its birthplace was the reflection of the understanding about Ethiopia's constructive role, together with its African brothers, in supporting African cause both during the colonialism and post-independence era, and its significant contribution in all the main pillars of the AU.
It discharged and continues to discharge its responsibilities in maintaining the peace and security of the region as seen in its conflict resolution and peacekeeping roles at times of difficulties in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, and now in the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, and in Somalia. Ethiopia has also been the founder and chairman of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) established with the aim of making African economic agenda to be heard in international fora and its role of ensuring African benefits in G-20, G-8 and in climate change summits are also to be noted.