The Commissioner for political affairs met with the United Kingdom Minister for Africa

By African Union Commission (AUC)

H.E. Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission met with H.E. Mr. James Duddridge, Member of Parliament and Ministerfor Africa of the United Kingdom. He was accompanied by the British Ambassador to Ethiopia and other Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Commissioner for Political Affairs welcomed the Minister and thanked him for the visit to the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Union Commission (AUC). Dr. Abdullahi briefed the Delegation on the work and the mandate of the DPA and its efforts to promote democracy and good governance on the continent. The Minister inquired about next elections in Africa and how can the UK continue its financial support to the Department of Political Affairs through DIFID.

In response, the Commissioner for Political Affairs thanked the Minister for DFID's on-going support to the activities of the Department of Political Affairs in particular in the deployment of the short and long term election observation missions in Africa. Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi draw the attention of the Minister to the need for more support to the DPA in order to provide technical support to Africa Member States to enhance their capacity to collect and process data and the issuance of biometric ID before any election in Africa. This is in addition to the training provided to National Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) as well as the reviving of the Association of African EMBs', which is its secretariat is temporarily hosted by the DPA.

The Commissioner also briefed the meeting on the AGA and the activities of the five clusters of the African Governance Platform. She also highlighted the efforts of the DPA to expedite the full ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and its reporting guidelines. The Commissioner concluded by reiterating the need for African solution to African problems.

The Commissioner for Political Affairs added that the overall objective of the AGA is to achieve governance, democracy and human rights as reflected in the Constitutive Act of the AU and other AU instruments relating to governance and human rights. The added value of the AGA to efforts aimed at addressing Africa's governance challenges, lies on how it translate AU Member States commitment to Democracy and governance as a shared value of the Union to concrete actions to support, complement and enhance the capacity of AU Member States to consolidate and improve on their governance processes.

H.E. Dr. Abdullahi also responded to questions about the situation in Burundi, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Somalia. She also responded to questions regarding the deployment of African forces to Burundi as well as the impact of the human rights observers currently in Burundi.