US congratulates Dlamini Zuma on top post

Monday, July 16, 2012

In a statement, the US government wished Dlamini Zuma success in her new role and said it looked forward to working closely with her and maintaining a productive relationship with the AU.

The US also thanked the former Chairman, Jean Ping, for his contributions to the African Union and wished him success in his future endeavours.

The AU announced on Sunday that Dlamini Zuma, one of South Africa's longest serving cabinet ministers, managed to garner the required 60 percent of votes and was named the new Chairperson of the AUC, the powerful executive arm of the AU.

Four rounds of voting and 37 votes from 51 countries in the end sealed Dlamini Zuma's position.

Meanwhile, locally, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson also congratulated Dlamini Zuma as the first female to head the AUC. "We all take inspiration from the appointment and view it as an affirmation for all African women," the minister said.

The African National Congress said it was thrilled with announcement, saying her victory had punctuated the need to reposition and refocus the AU to ensure that it responds to global challenges confronting the continent and to work towards greater unity of the continent.

It said she had the potential and the capacity to take the AU to new height owing to her accumulated experience in the liberation movement, women structures and as well as a minister in government.

"In every position she has served, she has done so with distinction owing to determination and visionary drive. She is known for her views on issues of women empowerment and those on the receiving end of poverty. We believe that in her hands, the AU is safe."

Trade union Cosatu also congratulated the minister on her election, adding that her top priority should be forging unity among Africa's people and changing the mindset of those running the AU.