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The Ethiopian Government organized a welcome banquet to the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Dr. Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU) on Wednesday December 12th at the National Palace in the presence of local and international dignitaries. At the ceremony the South African Ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Major General Chris L. Pepani said in his speech AUC Chairwoman Dr. Zuma reached this position through a process of determination, hope and triumph. He also said that she held three successive ministerial posts in the areas of health, home affairs and foreign affairs for 10 years where she tried to create a better Africa and world.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn on his part stated that Dr. Zuma is an accomplished diplomat who in her foreign ministerial position oversaw the transformation of the Organization of the African Union (OAU) to the African Union (AU) during her chairpersonship of the then council of ministers of the OAU as well as the executive council of the AU.
Dr. Zuma on her part said she has fond memories about Ethiopia and the then OAU ever since she came to Ethiopia 36 years ago as an exiled student, during the 1976 infamous Soweto uprising. She also said the African continent today is seen as the next bright spot in the world, a contrast from just a decade ago when some foreign publications were referring to it as a dark and hopeless continent. The evening was concluded with the mayor of Addis Ababa Kuma Demeksa handing Dr. Zuma the Golden key of Addis Ababa.