The Assembly of the African Union, the meeting of Heads of State and Government of Africa opened on Sunday (January 27th).
This 20th African Union summit met under the theme of "Pan-Africanism and African Renassaince". The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mme Dlamini-Zuma, said at the opening ceremony that Africa was at point where it must seize the opportunity to fast track its economic development.
Africa, she said, was well endowed with the natural resources which are the critical components for fast tracking industrialization on the continent: "Africa time has arrived and we can achieve our dream within fifty years, or even less,", she emphasized, reiterating that Africa must remain united if it is to achieve its goals and pull millions of people out of poverty.
UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon told the Assembly that "Africa has the experience to forge solutions to its own challenges and contribute to our global goals of inclusive growth, social justice and protecting our environment."
He said African countries should make more effort to empower youth and women and give them more responsibilities for driving economic growth and peace.
He also spoke of the conflicts and crises in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau and Somalia, saying that Mali was under threat from extremist armed insurgence. Asnd he welcomed the timely bilateral assistance to the Malian army. The Assembly meets today, Sunday, and Monday (January 28th).