Joint AUC/ECA Press Conference on Ministerial Meeting of Finance, Planning, Economic Development and Integration

By African Union Commission (AUC)

H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and H.E Mr. Georges Wembi Lwambo , Minister of Planning of the Democratic Republic of Congo, had a press conference immediately after the closing of the joint AU-UNECA Ministerial Conference on Finance, Planning, Economic Development and Integration.

Addressing the journalists, Dr. Dlamini Zuma, stated that the continent requires resources for healthcare, education and several other issues aimed at improving the lives of the African citizens. She noted however that corruption must be eradicated to strengthen trust between the governments and their citizens. The Chairperson highlighted that during the last AU Summit in January, a decision was taken on the implementation of free movement of people and goods within the continent. She announced that the African Union Passport will be launched during the next AU Summit as a result of this decision. Dr. Dlamini Zuma lauded the few African countries that have already embraced this decision and encouraged other countries that have not yet open their borders to do so in order to actualize the Agenda 2063 aspiration of an integrated and united Africa.

Mr. Lopes in his introduction laid more emphases about the need to change mindsets in order to achieve structural transformation; he stated that it is through this change of mindset that the continent can effectively and efficiently developed. He further underlined the importance of implementing the two development Agendas, namely 2063 and 2030 in addressing the problems of migration, youth employment, women empowerment, integration, among others. “There is a need to look at migration comprehensively; the benefits of migration are under estimated therefore problems associated are over emphasized” Mr. Lopez noted. According to Mr. Lopez, integration should not only be limited to trade but it should also include the development of infrastructure, education and agriculture among others.

Minister Wembi appreciated the successful and fruitful deliberations of the conference calling on Member States to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations and Addis Ababa Declaration.