Ghana says it is committed to organizing a successful African Union (AU) Summit, adding that work is progressing steadily on all fronts to ensure a sustained good image for the country.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD said Ghana was preparing to host the event and welcomes the opportunity with great expectations.
“Ghana is determined to organize a successful Summit, particularly when the President of the Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, is the current chair of the Assembly of the Union.”
Briefing the media in Accra on preparations towards the event, the Foreign Minister outlined the calendar and said the 14th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representative Committee will be held from June 25th to 26th.
He said the 11th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, will be held from June 28th to 29th, 2007 while the Summit itself, that is the Ordinary Session of the Assembly would run from July 1st to 3rd July, 2007.
Nana Akufo- Addo noted that other meetings be held alongside, included Coordination Meeting of the AU Commission and the Regional Economic Communities.
There would also be a meeting of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS, while the Ministerial Committee on Candidatures comes off on 25th and 26th June.
“African Peer Review Mechanism Meetings will take place on the 30th at which South Africa and Algeria would be taken through the peer review process while the heads of State and Government Implementation on NEPAD meeting would be on June 30th, 2007.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said an AU evaluation team which was in the country from March 26-29, had completed its first evaluation of Ghana's preparedness. They were here to delineate the respective responsibilities of the host nation and the commission with respect to the holding of the Accra Summit and assessed Ghana's readiness to host the Summit.
The Minister said the evaluation team was satisfied with the state of preparedness and assisted in identifying the areas which required particular concentration and emphasis.
Nana Akufo-Addo said even though the AU Summit population is usually 3,000 the Accra Summit is expected to attract some 5,000 people for many reasons, including the venue and theme.
Al-Jazeera, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and OBE TV of the UK have put in requests to broadcast the event live. Besides, giant screens are to be installed in the committee rooms to relay proceedings to those who did not gain access to the main plenary hall. A website on the Summit is also to be hosted by the Information Services Department, to guide those seeking information on the Summit.
Nana Akufo-Addo said sections of the city would be re-demarcated and traffic re-directed especially within the Ridge and La Wireless area where accommodation was being prepared for the visiting heads of state and their delegations.
He explained that the construction works at the two sites were far advanced and would be ready for the Summit, adding that, “hopefully, heads of state and heads of delegation would be housed there. Hotel rooms have been secured, while guests and private accommodation had been considered alongside hotels to augment the number of rooms to cater for the delegates.”
He said transport and security arrangement were being handled by the appropriate institutions and urged the public to cooperate with the changes and requirements needed.