Government of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

28 January 2013

Africa: Ethiopian Prime Minister Elected Chairperson of AU

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam has been elected Chairman of the African Union for the coming year, 2013.

In a ceremony held at the opening session of the 20th Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government held on Sunday (January 27th ) Prime Minister Hailemariam took over the chairmanship from Dr. Boni Yayi, the President of the Republic of Benin. In his acceptance speech Prime Minister Hailmariam thanked the outgoing chairman for his outstanding leadership during his tenure of office.

He vowed to do his best as Chairman of the AU: " I would like to affirm my determination to do my utmost in discharging the heavy responsibilities bestowed upon me as Chairperson of the Union." He thanked the august Assembly for paying tribute to the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles, and NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) for endorsing the proposal made by the NEPAD Agency to establish the Meles Zenawi Centre for Sustainable Development in recognition of the late prime minister's immense contributions to the African Union and to the cause of Africa.

Outlining his priorities, Prime Minister Hailemaraim stressed the importance of forging economic ties with emerging economies to take advantage of the growing consensus now considering Africa as a continent of hope. He underlined the importance of striving towards the implementation of "the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) and the Action Plan for the Acceleration of Industrial Development in Africa (AIDA) in order to move towards realizing the desired structural transformation.

On matters of peace and security, Prime Minister Hailemariam underlined the importance of assisting "Sudan and South Sudan to achieve two viable states living side by side in peace and harmony" and to "do everything possible to help restore constitutional order in Mali, safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and address the humanitarian crisis in collaboration with ECOWAS, the United Nations and other international partners ".To read the full speech click http://www.mfa.gov.et/theMinstrMore.php?pg=42

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