The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
The 25th African Union Summit
Heads of state gather at the African Union Summit in Johannesburg.
This week’s snapshot focuses on the 25th African Union (AU) Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. The theme of this year’s summit is “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.” The summit will focus on the AU’s founding objectives, eradicating poverty across the continent, and reforming the United Nations. The African Union was established in 1999, and has since grown to include 54 member states.
News Summary of events during the week of 08JUNE15 – 15JUNE15
- 08JUNE15: South African Minister of Internal Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa has created conditions conducive to a productive and successful summit. (Xinhua)
- 10JUNE15: Leaders from 26 countries across Africa’s eastern half from Egypt to South Africa agreed to work toward a free-trade zone that would remove tariffs and customs between them. (WSJ)
- 11JUNE15: Representatives from AU member states vowed to seek financial independence for the organization. (Xinhua)
- 11JUNE15: AU Commission Chairwoman Nkosazaa Dlamini-Zuma urged African leaders to take action to stop the flow of migrants from Africa to Europe. (Xinhua)
- 11JUNE15: The AU discussed the idea of adopting a single currency and Common Africa Passport as part of its Agenda 2063 roadmap. (Xinhua)
- 11JUNE15: The deputy UN secretary-general, Jan Eliasson, traveled to South Africa to take part in the Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council. (Xinhua)
- 12JUNE15: AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, and Technology said the AU is working towards a standardized system of education to promote quality education and skills across the continent. (Xinhua)
- 12JUNE15: In an unprecedented move, the AU ordered a court sitting in Senegal to try former Chadian President Hissene Habre for alleged crimes against humanity. (Xinhua)
- 12JUNE15: South African President Jacob Zuma stressed the importance of Africa processing its mineral resources within the continent. (Xinhua)
- 13JUNE15 Reports on Sudanese radio claimed President Omar al-Bashir, who was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes, will travel to South Africa for the AU Summit. (AFP)
- 13JUNE15: Dlamini-Zuma urged rival sides in Burundi to engage in a dialogue to solve the ongoing political crisis. (AFP)
- 14JUNE15: The ICC called for South Africa to arrest Bashir upon his arrival in Johannesburg. (AFP)
Sample of Twitter handles regarding the African Union Summit
- @bisi_akins – Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick
- @doreenapollos – Doreen Apollos, News Editor at Kenya’s KBC
- @aminugamawa – Aminu Gamawa, legal and conflict resolution expert
- @paulinenjoroge – Pauline Njoroge, Communication Officer at NEPAD Kenya
- @lieslvaudran – Liesl Louw-Vaudran, freelance journalist
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the African Union Summit
David Zounmenou, senior researcher in the African Conflict Prevention Program at the Institute for Security Studies
“I am of the opinion that the legal framework that we put in place is not helpful to stop the third-term debate in countries. If African leaders do not speak out early and decisively against those attempts, the next cause of instability, of war, will be particularly the decision of leaders to hang on to power. I think Africa has made some progress in the democratization process. I’m looking at Africa from 1960 to 2000 and counting almost 89 successful military coups as a way of changing power on the continent. Then I look at Africa from 2000 up to today, and realize that we only have six military coups. That’s progress. That means you have less presidents killed, and less generals coming to power. It also means that democracy has become the language in town.”
– Conflict, Political Drama to Take Center Stage at AU Summit, Voice of America, 09JUNE15
Gideon Chitanga, researcher with the Center for Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg
“There is a need for the African Union to start to seriously focus on issues of economic development because these are issues of livelihood that the people of Africa are concerned with…Providing employment and giving quality education to the youth could be at the top of the agenda.”
– Interview: AU Summit should focus on poverty, security issues: expert, Xinhua, 10JUNE15
Christopher Wood, expert on economic development at the South African Institute for International Affairs
“There’s been talk about the continental free trade agreement for many, many years, but it’s more like a shibboleth that shows you’re committed to regional integration on the continent…It seems like that’s changing now. The African Union has established negotiating principles and some outcomes and a rough timeline that seems like the continental free-trade agreement is going to move from a vision to an actual plan.’
– Talks to Begin on Creating a Trade Zone Within Africa, The New York Times, 12JUNE15
Vince Musewe, independent economist, based in Harare, Zimbabwe
“Africa is falling behind because of under developed infrastructure. We have failed to industrialize and depend too much on imports as a continent. We are also not investing enough in our human capital potential as China has shown us that you invest in your people first then create economic opportunity for them by developing industry.”
– Preview: African leaders to chart continent’s development plan at AU summit, Xinhua, 13JUNE15
Shadrack Gutto, law professor at the University of South Africa
“The courts can rule that [Omar al-Bashir] shouldn’t leave. It’s the government that will have to prevent him from leaving. I don’t see the government arresting him. The matter will go on appeal and by the time it is resolved, he will have left the country.”
– Court Ruling on Al-Bashir Leaves South Africa ‘in a Fix,’ Bloomberg, 15JUNE15
Samples of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the African Union Summit
1. S. Africa ready to host AU Summit: minister
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 08 June 2015
PRETORIA, June 8 (Xinhua) — South Africa has made all arrangements and created conducive conditions for a productive and most successful African Union (AU) Summit, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said here on Monday.
The 25th AU summit will be under the theme “Year of Women empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
Nkoana-Mashabane said at a press briefing that her country is ready to host dozens of African heads of state and hundreds of dignitaries attending the summit.
2. African leaders urged to stop migrant crisis
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 11 June 2015
JOHANNESBURG, June 11 (Xinhua) — African Union (AU) Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday urged African leaders to do everything they can to stop the migrant crisis as a new wave of African migration to Europe has made international headlines.
Failure to do so would risk reversing the gains the continent has made in the past decade, Dlamini-Zuma said at the 25th AU summit taking place in Johannesburg.
She said there have been concerns that African states will face skills shortage and struggling economies as a growing number of migrants and asylum seekers try to flee Africa.
3. African Union moots single currency
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 11 June 2015
JOHANNESBURG, June 11 (Xinhua) — The Africa Union (AU) is mooting the idea to adopt a single currency as part of the Agenda 2063 roadmap worked out by the organization, Anthony Mothae Maruping, AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, said on Thursday.
The aim is to connect Africa through world class infrastructure, with a concerted push to finance and implement major projects, Maruping said on the sidelines of the 25th AU Summit taking place in Johannesburg.
4. AU orders court to try former Chadian president: official
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 12 June 2015
JOHANNESBURG, June 12 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) has ordered a court sitting in Senegal to try former Chadian President Hissene Habre for alleged crimes against humanity committed during his presidency between 1982 and 1990, an AU official said on Friday.
This is seen as an unprecedented move by the AU to set up an “African court” to try African leaders accused anti-humanity crimes.
5. UPDATE: Sudan says Bashir flying home from S.Africa
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 15 June 2015
Khartoum, June 15, 2015 (AFP) – Sudan said Monday President Omar al-Bashir is flying home from South Africa, despite a court ordering him to stay as it decides whether to order his arrest over alleged war crimes and genocide.
Bashir, who was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg, is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the conflict in the western Darfur region.