Brussels, 23 July 2012/ ACP: Head of the Secretariat for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas expressed his warm congratulations and optimism following the election of South Africa’s Home Affairs minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as the new Chair of the African Union (AU) Commission.

She is the first woman and first from her country to hold the post.

Upon returning from last week’s African Union leaders’ summit held in Addis Abba, Ethiopia Dr Chambas reported that the continent-wide organisation was “in capable hands” under Dr Dlamini-Zuma’s leadership.

“She is very well-known and highly esteemed in the continent. As a former Foreign Minister of her country, she has contributed significantly to bringing the African Union to what it is today,” said the Secretary General.

As the new President of the AU commission, Dr Dlamini-Zuma will oversee the management of the day-to-day affairs of the 54-member country alliance. She joins, as a peer, other recently inducted African women leaders such as the President of Liberia, Nobel laureate Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Malawi President Joyce Banda.

“It is a victory for women in Africa, and I am personally delighted at the trend of having such strong, driven women at the forefront of national governments and international organisations in Africa today. It is not an easy feat to achieve and quite challenging to succeed in. We should be proud,” added Dr Chambas.

The Secretary General said he looked forward to working closely with the new AU Commission leadership towards building a closer cooperative relationship between the African Union and the ACP Group, which share a large number of common members.

(Photo: New President of the AU Commission Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma/ dpa/ picture alliance)

– ACP Press