President James Michel addresses AU’s 50th anniversary summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-‘Africa can lead by example’


 President Michel addressing the summit

We must aim to provide African examples. And on this 50th anniversary, despite our challenges, I am ever more confident that Africa can be ever more exemplary.”

President James Michel said this in his address on Saturday during the opening of the African Union’s 50th anniversary summit at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mr Michel added that this year’s theme?  Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance ?  requires empowering the young leaders for now and in future as well as reflects the importance for Africa to lead by example.
He also commended the African Union on its achievements such as promoting unity and improving the lives of many people across the continent and the world.

President Michel with Minister Adam and Ethiopian Minister Tadesse

He added that Africa must intensify its competence to bring stability and putting its people at the centre of development.
Heads of state and government of other African Union countries were also present on this historic and auspicious occasion.

Leaders in a group photograph at the summit

President Michel said that while reflecting on the African Union's achievements, there must also be a focus on areas that need to be improved.
“We must redouble our efforts to bring more development to benefit our peoples. We must invest in the provision of education and healthcare as we look to strengthen our post-2015 development agenda. “And we must become champions of good governance and democracy,” said President Michel.

Accompanied at the summit by Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam, President's Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte d'Offay, and Seychelles’ Ambassador to the AU, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, President Michel also called for more Africans to take ownership of the economy, which is increasing remarkably, and to look at the true potential of the blue economy.

“Africa is currently benefiting from unprecedented economic growth.  But we need more African ownership of the economy.  We cannot speak of transforming African ownership of the economy, unless we are prepared to seriously look at our oceans. As an oceanic state, it is apparent to Seychelles that we have much to do to claim ownership of our ocean.  The opportunities inherent in our seas belong to us, and we must create frameworks to develop this potential.  We must make our ocean safe.  And we must be able to manage our oceans.  To do this we must be prepared to give more attention to the blue economy,” added President Michel.

He continued by saying that as guardians and facilitators of this concept, by linking together African islands, it would further increase trade and developments within Africa in the next 50 years as well as improving connection among the youths.

President Michel upon arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Saturday morning

President Michel was met on arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Saturday morning by Ethiopian Minister for Women, Children and Youth, Zenebu Tadesse.
Also present at the summit on Saturday was the founding President of Seychelles James R. Mancham.

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