ADDIS ABABA, (The Southern African Times) – The African Union (AU) Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday kicked off a year-long project to mark the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the AU.
The year-long initiative, dubbed “AU at 20: A Renewed Call to Action for the 21st Century,” envisaged to mark the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the AU towards charting a renewed call to action towards achieving continental and global development aspirations.
“Endorsed by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the project will undertake a data-driven study to assess progress and chart a renewed call to action towards achieving Agenda 2063 (The Africa We Want) and the UN’s Agenda 2030,” an AU statement issued on Friday read.
The year 2022 will mark 20 years since the Durban Summit, which established the African Union (AU), the successor of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
“Since then, the continent has experienced rapid economic growth and developed normative frameworks on development, peace and security, and governance,” the AU said.
The 55-member pan-African bloc, however, stressed that the African continent “is yet to fully consolidate the successes of recent years and address persistent economic, governance and societal challenges.”
The joint study, among other things, envisaged proposing new ideas and innovative ways in supporting AU member states toward an accelerated pathway for achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development, it was noted.
The AU Commission and UNDP are set to work towards the development of a research methodology, data collection and analysis process to produce a compendium that assesses “where the continent is, where we ought to be and set a clear roadmap for sustainable and equitable progress across the continent,” it was noted.
Further, a series of dialogues will be organized across the continent to present the findings of the study to enable all stakeholders make inputs and validate the study. The final compendium will then be produced and launched in 2022 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the AU, according to the AU.
The kick-off meeting was attended by representatives from the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, the Office of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, the Department of Peace and Security, the Department of Political Affairs, the Directorate for Information and Communication, the Department of Infrastructure and Energy, the Office of Legal Counsel, and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Thirty-nine years after the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was launched to end colonialism and unite the peoples of Africa, the continent’s leaders had inaugurated its successor, the African Union (AU), in Durban, South Africa, in July 2002.
The new organization inherits the OAU’s mantle of pan-Africanism. The AU, however, has a broader mandate to meet the challenges of a rapidly globalising era.