Businessmen Root For Zuma's Wife
5/17/2012 1:01:54 PM -
Business executives of the Pan-African Business Forum, a network of West African businessmen, have mounted a campaign to lobby their governments in support of the candidature of South Africa's Home Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosozana Diamini-Zuma for the African Union (AU) Commission's Chairperson slot.
Dr. Diamini-Zuma is the ex-wife of South African President, Jacob Zuma.
According to the Pan African Business Forum, the election of a woman as the AU Commission's Chairperson will give a new impetus for economic development.
'By electing Dr. Dlamini-Zuma-a driving force in South Africa's effort in forging an African societal renaissance-we would be sending an unmistakable message to all those who doubt our continent's resolve, and to all those who for their own vested interests, would not want to see our re-emergence occur,' stated Prince Prosper Ladislas Agbesi, President of the Pan African Business Forum. He was speaking at a press conference in Accra on Monday.
Voting for the Commission's top position will kick off in Malawi in June 2012 and it will be keenly contested by the incumbent Chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, former Gabonese Foreign Minister and Dr. Dlamini-Zuma.
This is not the first time the two would be contesting the position. In January this year, Jean Ping and Dr. Dlamini-Zuma locked horns in the Chairmanship contest, but both failed to secure the required two-thirds majority votes. According to Mr. Agbesi, the continuous stalement in the determination of a substantive Chairperson for the commission is negatively affecting continental investment and business.
'Indeed, if she becomes AU Chairperson, it is more likely that South Africa, her home country, will become more aware and in-tune with Pan-African sentiments and positions on issues that affect the continent,' said Prosper Agbesi.
It is believed that Dr. Dlamini-Zuma has a strong support base in the South African Development Community (SADC). 'This was out of the realization that Dr. Dlamini-Zuma fits the bill perfectly for this all-important continental position', notes the President of the business network.
The Pan African Business Forum is a strong grouping of businessmen with a relatively veritable influence on governments within the West African sub-region. It consists of over 350 businessmen and professionals across the region.
The Commission is the Secretariat of the African Union entrusted with executive functions which is tasked with driving the African integration and development process. The Chairperson is responsible for coordinating all these complex executive functions.
By Raphael Adeniran