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Africa’s growth must be inclusive, just and equitable, says Janneh at ’Shared Values’ AU Executive Council Meeting

ECA Press Release No. 05/2011

Addis Ababa, 27 January 2011 (ECA) - UN Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Abdoulie Janneh, today in Addis Ababa told participants attending the 18th Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council that Africa’s economic growth must remain high for required structural transformation, “but it must also be inclusive, just and equitable otherwise there is a real risk that it might be derailed.”

The AU Executive Council meeting, comprising Ministers and designated representatives from Member States is being held in advance of the 16th African Union Summit on the theme, “Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values” which concludes on 31 January 2011. One of the Executive Council’s core tasks is to review the draft Declaration on the Summit before it is sent to the AU Assembly for adoption.

“If Africa’s promising growth is to be sustained and improved upon then it must be buttressed by the shared values that underpin our societal and state relations including respect for the human being, equity, equality of opportunity and affirmation of the African identity,” urged Mr. Janneh.

He highlighted the wide range and scope of instruments that reflect African shared values, including the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which attest to considerable progress in terms of continental policy frameworks and accompanying institutional architecture.

“The adoption of the Charter further attests to Africa’s firm conviction and commitment to establishing a governance architecture to strengthen this agenda,” he said, noting that their provisions would need to be domesticated and be accorded requisite financial resources.

“The renewed self-belief, and can-do attitude in Africa should now be translated into peace, better economic management, the achievement of the MDGs, provision of first class regional infrastructure, increased intra-Africa trade and foreign direct investment,” urged Mr. Janneh. He added that : “These elements and a commitment to placing the human being at the centre of development will bring about a well educated, healthy, highly-skilled and gainfully employed citizenry that will promote and protect the values of the African Union and take ownership of its integration agenda.”

The AU Executive Council is also reviewing the status of signatures and ratifications of the OAU / AU treaties. According to the AU, some of the texts are of a binding nature whose entry into force would be a breakthrough for fundamental shared values such as democracy, governance and respect for human rights.

: : Remarks by Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ECA

18th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council, AU Plenary Hall, Addis Ababa, 27 January 2011

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