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General News
Kufuor''s AU Chairmanship Term Over... 2/3/2008

... returns home from Addis Ababa
Accra, Feb. 2, GNA- The President, John Agyekum Kufuor, returned home this afternoon from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he attended the Tenth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union from January 31 to February 2, 2008.

He was accompanied by some senior government officials. Briefing newsmen on arrival, Mr Andrew Awuni, Presidential Spokesperson, said President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania had been elected as the new Chairman of the African Union (AU).

He said this followed the ending of President Kufuor''s one year term as chairman of the AU. Mr Awuni said Gabonese Foreign Minister, Jean Ping, had also taken over from Mr Alpha Konare as Chairman of the AU Commission.

Mr Awuni said two other meetings, namely the 18th session of Heads of State of the Implementation Group of NEPAD and the eighth session of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) were also held. Presdident Kufuor, he said, presented a comprehensive second annual report on issues bordering on democracy, governance, gender, land, among others, to the session, noting that, Ghana was the first signatory to the APRM.

He said President Kufuor also elaborated measures his government had taken to live up to the recommendations of the APRM. Mr Awuni said the implementation group at the 18th session of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD, agreed that NEPAD would become an agency under the AU and no longer remain an autonomous body. The presidential spokesperson said during the tenure of President Kufuor as AU Chairman, he proposed the setting up of a panel of five African Heads of State to prepare a document for the road map towards a Union Government in Africa.

He said when the road map was presented to the Executive Council of the AU; the council could not come to a consensus on the recommendations in it.

He said the issue came up again at the tenth session of the AU, and it was agreed that ten Heads of State and Government would be selected, as well as the AU Chairman, Jakaya Kikwete and the immediate past Chairman, President Kufuor.

He said these twelve eminent personalities would examine the road map and study recommendations and present a report to the AU during its next session expected to be held in July this year. Mr Awuni said a 13 member audit panel, which was instituted by President Kufuor during his tenure as AU Chairman to examine the various agencies under the AU, resented its report and was duly accepted. He said the 12 eminent personalities, who were to be selected as proposed at the tenth session, would examine the audit report and present it at the July session of the AU.

He said the Tenth Ordinary AU session also endorsed President Kufuor''s initiative during his tenure to set up a three member panel led by Former UN Secretary Genneral, Mr Kofi Annan, to restore peace in Kenya following the post election violence in that country. Mr Awuni said the UN Secretary Genneral, Ban Ki Moon, who attended the opening of the session, pledged the UN''s support to Mr Kofi Annan''s panel.

He said President Kufuor had to break his trip to Rome, where he was to attend the Annual General Meeting of the World Food Program, in order to be at home to lend his support to the Black Stars of Ghana in Sunday''s match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria. President Kufuor was met at the airport by Ministers of State, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Patrick Acheampong and other senior Military and Police personnel.

Source: GNA

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