The African Union Commission (AUC) is proposing to focus on key areas for its Third Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2017.

Welcoming delegates to the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AUC, the Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that in preparations for the Third AUC Strategic Plan, ?we identify key priorities on which to concentrate attention, so that we accelerate our agenda for an integrated and prosperous continent, at peace with itself,? she said.

She believes that through prioritization, the AUC will be able to set more realistic outcomes that can be achieved by the end of the period.

Dr. Dlamini-Zuma indicated that the AUC believes it should focus on human capacity development focusing on health, education, science, research, technology and innovation; agriculture and agro processing; inclusive economic development through industrialization, infrastructure development, trade and investment; peace, stability and good governance.

Other areas are mainstreaming women and youth; resource mobilization; building a people-centred Union through communication and strengthening the institutional capacity of the AUC and all its organs.

?We have continental policy frameworks, strategies and often action plans in most if not all of these areas. What we will do, with inputs from Member states and Regional Economic Communities, is to identify key outcomes in each area, which we must implement resolutely, so that we ca begin to see impact and decisive movement forward,? she said.

In his remarks, Dr. Carlos Lopes, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) acknowledged that while the world may have its own particular interest in a rising Africa, the growth that must matter for Africans is one that is primarily anchored on their interest and concerns.

?It must be driven by them on the basis of their priorities and should be capable of delivering structural transformation. It requires continued efforts to improve governance systems, strengthen state capacities, harness information and communications technologies, promote gender equality, and mobilize the energy and creativity of Africa?s youth,? he said.

Dr. Lopes however admitted that translating the current growth that the continent is experiencing into a comprehensive project of transformative development will not be easy.

He said, ?it requires a retooling of the African state and its institutions with the view to strengthen their capacity for strategizing effectively.?

He called for new approaches to macro-economic policy-making and management anchored on the primary goal of boosting growth and employment without losing overall balances necessary and permissible for relative stability as an agenda for transformative development in Africa.

The 22nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council precedes the 20th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union scheduled for January 27 and 28, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme is ?Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.?

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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