Welcome Address by H.E. Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi
With great humility and gratitude I would like to preface my remarks this morning with warm greetings to all of you distinguished representatives of Member States. We are honoured and delighted that many of you managed to spare time to accommodate this retreat amidst your busy schedules. It is indeed an affirmation of the commitment by our Member States to good governance and the work of the Union in this regard. We are looking forward to engage with you individually and collectively to exchange ideas on the operationalisation of African Governance Architecture and the state reporting process under the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in Africa.
I would like to acknowledge with appreciation, the people and Government of the Republic of Tanzania for their warm hospitality, since our arrival. As the country prepares for its Presidential elections in the coming month, I bring you best wishes from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. NkosazanaDlamini Zuma on behalf of the Union. We will certainly be back to support and observe the electoral processes which we hope – as has been the case in past elections – will be credible and legitimate.
This retreat is special. It is the culmination of our long desire to engage directly with Member States on the status of implementation of the decision by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government to establish a Pan African Architecture on Governance. You will recall that that the 16th Ordinary Session of the Assembly in 2011 was dedicated to the Shared Values of the African Union. At that Summit our leaders identified obstacles and measures to be adopted to facilitate continental integration based on shared values, as well as putting in place a Pan-African Architecture on Governance.
Specifically, Heads of State and Government called on the African Union Commission (AUC) to amongst other things:
1. Put in place measures and modalities to support Member States to establish the required capacities and processes to monitor and review domestication efforts of Shared Values instruments; and
2. Ensure greater synergy between peace and security matters and governance and democracy
We have made significant progress in improving the state of elections, public service, human rights and constitutionalism on the continent. While there are pocket of challenges in terms of deficits in a number of our Member States, the push for the universal ratification and implementation at the national level of these instruments is key to ensuring democracy consolidation on the continent.
The decision of the Assembly on shared values is accorded greater vigour and impetus in the African Union’s (AU) blueprint and road map for development in Africa – Agenda 2063. Aspiration 3 of the Agenda recognizes that “good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law” are critical enablers and drivers of integration, prosperity and development of Africa.