21 April 2016

Africa: The African Union Commission Participates At the Model of the African Union in Bayreuth, Germany

press release

The African Union Commission Participates at the Model of the African Union in Bayreuth, Germany

Bayreuth, Germany, 21 April 2016: H.E. Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission was represented by Amb. Salah S. Hammad, Senior. Human Rights Expert, at the 1st Model African Union, which was held in Bayreuth, Germany. The conference took place in Bayreuth from 21st to 24th April 2016.

The Model African Union was organized by the International Graduate School of African Studies-BIGSAS, at Bayreuth University in Germany under the theme "Towards a peaceful, prosperous and more integrated Africa".

The Model African Union Bayreuth (MAU-Bayreuth) is an education-oriented association with particular focus on Africa, with membership comprising of students of all levels and disciplines at the University of Bayreuth. The first of its kind in Germany, this association seeks to build academic as well as non-academic competences and practical skills among its members in diverse areas of socio-political, economic and educational issues.

In his statement, Amb. Hammad stated that "if ever there was a time that we should cherish the ideals and the messages in the voices and words of the founding fathers that time is now. More than ever before, the Union that you have all established with foresight and vision is faced with the challenge of asserting its values and political interests in a context of diversity and difference. The need for political unity was echoed as far back as 1961 by the illustrious Dr. Kwame Nkrumah when he wrote that 'individually, the independent states of Africa, some of them potentially rich, others poor, can do little for their people."

Amb. Hammad also added that "the commitment to a political union and an optimum balance has created within the African Union, a momentum towards developing and domesticating inspiring shared values. Certainly, by way of adopting collective instruments, Member States have demonstrated a desire for an integrated future through value harmonisation on the basis of agreed principles and practices. Hence, there has never been any doubt that adopted shared values serve to inspire action and are the operational mechanisms for achieving the desire for a better future for all. These instruments and the practical modalities for their implementation further serve to indicate that shared values are more than just philosophical dispositions and can and do serve to assert common approaches to challenges and provide the African voice on the global stage. With the adopted shared values, we have witnessed that the Union and its Member States have become less reserved in their approach to identifying challenges, as they should, when problems are confronted. Member States have also reflected that they are cognizant and appreciative of local circumstances in the applicability of collectively established standards and, at the same time, have demonstrated a willingness to uphold our global commitments."

The Conference brought together students interested in Africa issues from a number of German universities' and it was well attended. The Conference ended by adopting three resolutions including one on supporting the fight against female genital mutilation.

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