–President Michael has urged African Union Heads of State and Government to speak as one voice in order to break the current impasse on multilateral trade and not allow to be divided by outside forces.
The President told a plenary session at the on-going 22nd AU Summit that in order to remain peaceful, integrated and prosperous, AU member states must start putting in place concrete measures to realize the goals set at the last meeting in 2013.
President Sata said a united approach towards resolving issues surrounding multilateral trade agreements was necessary if Africa was to achieve the much required success.
And President Sata said African governments need to be serious about putting in place policies that would promote agro-processing and industrial development.
He said the AU Heads of State and Government Summit should direct the AU Commission through the department of trade and investment to provide member states with information about the comparative trade advantages for the purpose of enhancing intra-trade between countries.
President Sata also noted that African countries must draw experiences from each other’s strengths and also appreciate efforts being made by regional bodies such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to boost intra-African trade and ultimately a continental free trade area.
President Sata noted that COMESA, SADC and ECOWAS have made positives in achieving continental trade as the three regional bodies are scheduled to sign a trade agreement this year to further boost trade among the 600 million inhabitants.
“I note that ECOWAS has make progress in establishing a monetary union for West African states, this is commendable and we will expect a progress report at our next meeting in Malabo in June on these matters,” said President Sata.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has announced that it stands ready to give new support of about 25 million Euros to the African Union (AU) led operation in the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR).
The AU Heads of State and Government attending the 22nd Ordinary Summit have expressed concern at the deteriorating security in the Central African Republic and called for urgent measures to be taken to curtail the turmoil.
In a statement released to the media at the on-going AU Summit ahead of a donors’ conference here to mobilize resources for the AU Mission in CAR , EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said the new support will be based on request to be done by the African Union.
Mr Piebalgs said the EU is also ready to support the election process in the CAR with about 20 million Euros to go towards putting in place voter registration, electoral operations, training, equipping staff as well as voter education.