Now it is possible for the African Union to move in the right directions decisively.
South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was elected on Sunday to become the head of the African Union (AU) Commission, ending a bruising leadership battle that had threatened to divide and weaken the organisation.
Cheers broke out at the AU’s soaring, Chinese-built steel and glass headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as supporters of the ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma celebrated her victory over incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon.
“We made it!” a grinning Zimbabwean delegate shouted, reflecting the strong support Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy had received from fellow members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Ping, who had served in the AU post since 2008, was largely supported by French-speaking African states.
Critics say the AU showed itself hesitant in its response to the conflicts last year in Libya and Ivory Coast, allowing Western governments to take lead roles.
In an official AU press statement issued by Dr. Jean Ping, former Chairperson of the African Union Commission, he said on 10 July 2012: “It was maliciously alleged that I am under the influence of France and that France teleguides the affairs of the Commission by remote control. No evidence has been provided to support this allegation and there is nothing in my conduct at the AU that remotely supports that allegation. On the contrary, I have fully implemented all AU decisions, including on Libya, which were in contradiction with the position of France.
Recently, it has been suggested that France is funding my campaign, including provision of an aircraft for some of the trips I have made, some of which were in fulfillment of my official duties. This is absolutely untrue. The fact is that it is my Government and my personal resources that have sustained my campaign.”
It seems that the loss of Dr. Jean Ping is one more direct result for the deep political changes happening in France after the humiliating defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in the French elections.
Congratulations to free Africa; Congratulations to the free world; and congratulations to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.