The African Union (AU) is a pan-African organization whose goal is to build an united and a strong Africa. In 2012, this half a century organization, whose headquarters are still in Ethiopia, made a historic choice. For the first time, African leaders elected former South Africa's minister of home affairs, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, the first woman to lead the African Union Commission.
|The African Union is half of a century on 2013|
The AU was originally called the Organization of the African Unity (OUA). The OUA was established and based on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by representatives of 32 governments.
Ethiopia is one of just two African countries never to have been colonized, BBC Africa said. On 9 July 2002, the last OAU chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki disbanded the organization to replace it by the current African Union (AU).
The commission serves as the administrative branch of the African Union made up of 54 African states, the New York Times stated. Dr.Dlamini-Zuma, the first female head of the AU commission, is also a diplomat, medical doctor, a politician and former wife of Deputy President Jacob Zuma. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her supporters.
My election is not a personal victory but a victory for the African continent in general and for women in particular [...]. We are grateful as women that our leaders have understood that women have to participate and take their rightful place in society so they can reach their full potential because it is only if men and women reach their full potential, shall we as a continent reach our full potential.
She defeated the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon. Her victory is a source of pride and inspiration for women across Africa. The AU commission, the key organ that plays a central role in the day-to-day management of the AU, is made up of a Chairperson, a deputy Chairperson, 8 Commissioners and staff members.
|The AU chairperson Dr.Dlamini-Zuma greets former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton|
The South African History Online's website published a complete biography of Dr. Dlamini-Zuma. Born on 27 January 1949, she has completed her secondary education at Amanzimtoti Training College until 1967 and started her tertiary studies in 1971 at the University of Zululand. She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Science (BSc) and left the country five years later to complete her MB ChB at the University of Bristol in 1978.
Her strong political engagement placed her as one of the few ANC women that has held senior positions in government and in Cabinet of South Africa. ANC or the African National Congress is the national liberation movement in South Africa whose key objective is the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. The African Union certainly made history by selecting this anti-apartheid activist.