30 January 2013

Zambia: Nation Awarded for Focused Malaria Fight

ZAMBIA has been awarded for its contribution to the reduction of malaria cases in the country.

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance, an affiliate of the United Nations (UN), has recognised the Zambian Government's efforts to roll back malaria prevalence rates.

Zambia's Ambassador to Ethiopia, Francis Simenda received the award from immediate past African Union (AU) chairperson and Benin President, Boni Yayi.

President Michael Sata said the award was for the Zambian people and the recognition of the role they had played in the fight against malaria.

Mr Sata said all Zambians had contributed to the roll-back malaria project the country was running.

"The two ministries of Health and Community Development, Mother and Child Health have worked very hard and it shows from such awards," he said.

Other countries awarded for the progress made in fighting the killer disease were South Africa and Swaziland.

Meanwhile, the 20th Ordinary Session of the AU Summit ended on Monday evening with Heads of State and Government pledging to tackle numerous social and economic problems the continent is facing.

The African leaders committed themselves to ensuring the implementation of the continental body's decisions at the just-ended summit.

Among some pertinent resolutions made was the creation of the African Observatory on Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) project to be hosted by Equatorial Guinea.

The leaders called on member States and development partners to avail the necessary technical and financial support for sustaining the AOSTI project.

The leaders also decided to create the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation.

They requested the AU Commission to convene a meeting for all stakeholders dealing with intellectual property in the implementation of the decision by May, this year.

The leaders asked the AU Commission to examine the proposed establishment of an International Constitutional Court.

The Assembly requested the Commission to take the necessary steps towards integration of the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership into the Aus structures and processes.

The leaders also welcomed the UN General Assembly's decision to grant the State of Palestine non-member observer status in the global body.

They urged the international community to pressure Israel to comply with the UN resolution and previous agreements signed with Palestine.

In his closing remarks, AU chairperson Haile Mariam Dessalegn expressed satisfaction at the active participation of all Heads of State and Government in the discussions on various issues of interest to the continent.

The summit agreed to hold the next AU meeting from May 19 to 27 this year.

President Sata left Ethiopia yesterday.

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