Pan-Africanism still alive — President

President Mnangagwa chats with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali during a courtesy call at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Ethiopia yesterday

AFRICAN countries will never deviate from the principles and ideals of Pan-Africanism that gave birth to modern independent states, which are now charting a new development path based on innovation and technology, President Mnangagwa has said.

Yesterday, the President joined more than 40 African Heads of State and Government attending the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly, which is being held under the theme “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality and relevant learning in Africa”.

The theme of the summit resonates with Zimbabwe’s thrust through the Education 5.0 model, which is a holistic shift from traditional educational models to a dynamic, experiential and collaborative learning framework that prepares learners for real-world challenges and opportunities.

In Zimbabwe, the main objective of Education 5.0 is to shift the African economy from one of mass consumption to mass production.

This has now found expression on the African continent, which is seeking to harness education, particularly science and technology, to leapfrog the continent’s growth.

In an interview after meeting with his Mozambican counterpart President Filipe Nyusi, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is ahead of this year’s AU theme as it has been emphasising on science,

innovation and technology as critical pillars for national development, particularly the realisation of Vision 2030, to become an upper middle-income economy.

“We are ahead of the theme. For a long time now, we have been promoting science and technology because every developed country is on the basis of promoting science and technology and now Africa is catching up,” said the President.

On whether there is a decline in Pan-Africanism on the continent, President Mnangagwa said the current crop of African leaders is alive to the ideals that birthed the AU, formerly the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), formed in 1963.

Back then, its primary objective was to ensure the independence of African states.

“I don’t think there is a decline in Pan-Africanism. The crop of the current leadership in Africa is fully aware that the AU is built on the bedrock of Pan-Africanism and we can never move away from that; this is why we have today a statue of (former Tanzanian President, the late Julius) Nyerere — that is Pan-Africanism,” he said.

Yesterday, President Mnangagwa witnessed the unveiling of the statue of the iconic President Nyerere, one of the founding fathers of the OAU and a protagonist in championing the independence of countries like Zimbabwe.

On his meeting with President Nyusi, the Head of State and Government said the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Mission in Mozambique, which was deployed on July 15, 2021 is winding up its operations and now there is need to find another solution since the situation in the Cabo Delgado region has “not really calmed”.

“I was meeting my brother from Mozambique, President Nyusi. He was briefing me on the situation in Cabo Delgado, where there is an insurgency. He was telling me the SADC forces in Cabo Delgado are now withdrawing and he said the situation has not really calmed, but that term is coming to an end, so we are discussing how we can deal with the situation,” added the President.

African leaders yesterday condemned unilateralism, violence, conflict and hegemonic tendencies, as well as Israel for its offensive against Palestinians in Gaza.

The attack has resulted in the death of tens of thousands of people, especially women and children.

Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki described Israel’s attack on Gaza “as the most flagrant violation of international humanitarian law” and accused Israel of committing genocide.

The summit was also attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who addressed the Heads of State and Government and praised African countries for standing with his people during trying times.

Outgoing chairperson of the AU and Comoros President Azali Assoumani also condemned Israel and urged the international community to “take action and stop the genocide”.

The summit also discussed tensions over postponed elections in Senegal and fighting in some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Conflict and violence in eastern Congo, Sudan, the Sahel and Libya also came under the spotlight.

Sunday Mail

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