South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has pointed out some of the things he has achieved under his tenure as the African Union (AU) Chairperson.
Ramaphosa’s remarks come as he is leaving the AU chairship this week.
Addressing South Africans through a statement issued today Monday, Ramaphosa said theirs was a baptism with fire, as soon after assuming the chairmanship, the world and Africa at large experienced an outbreak of Covid-19.
“South Africa’s term as Chair of the African Union comes to an end later this week. As we reflect on our year in this position, I am reminded of the old saying that ‘in crisis lies opportunity’.
“Ours was a baptism of fire, having assumed the Chairship in the same month the first case of coronavirus was reported on the continent.”
Among others, Ramaphosa said under his leadership in AU, he has managed to launch the Africa Continental Free Trade(ACFT), heralding a new era of intra-African trade and economic integration, pushed a goal of bringing peace on the Continent, through a “Silencing guns” campaign: he said AU has been actively involved in negotiations of around the Grand of Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, in achieving a ceasefire in Libya and promoting peace in South Sudan.
Ramaphosa also said he has managed to achieve Economic empowerment of women in Africa.
On the fight against the novel Covid-19, Ramaphosa said although African nations went for international supporters for funds, he said Africa was first of all helped in establishing and capitalizing of a Continental COVID-19 Response Funds.
He said: “And now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available, we have worked as a collective to ensure that the continent gets its fair share, working with the COVAX Facility and led by our own African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team. Vaccine rollout has already commenced on the continent and we aspire to have the majority of the continent’s population vaccinated by the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity.
“We have acted as one to protect health, people and livelihoods on the continent. In doing so, we have demonstrated our capacity for self-reliance and our ability to be the drivers of our own development.”
Meanwhile, the AU leadership will now shifts to President Felix Tshisekedi
of the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).