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Africa: Zambia Scoops AU Trade, Industry Seat

02 February 2017
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ZAMBIA has scooped the position of Commissioner for Trade and Industry at the just-ended African Union elections by a landslide victory. Zambia's candidate Albert Muchanga polled 49 votes out of 51 votes. The AU consists of 54 member states and 51 participated in the elections that were held on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba told ZANIS in Addis Ababa that he was pleased with the result, and thanked President Edgar Lungu for the support he rendered to the candidates.

Mr Kalaba described the victory as an achievement for the country and that the win spoke volumes to Zambia and interpreted what the African continent thought about Zambia.

He said the country had been a member of the OAU then, now African Union, but had never been represented at that level.

Ambassador Muchanga said Zambia would finally be represented at the AU and that the victory had put the country at the international level.

Mr Muchanga said at individual level the victory would allow him serve at the AU and represent Zambia.

During the campaign period, Mr Muchanga pledged to introduce fresh ideas and re-energise the Commission in its service delivery based on his long experience in economic integration, trade and industry, diplomacy and inter-governmental affairs, among others, once elected to the position.

He said development of a 'dashboard' to enable all Africans monitor daily progress in the implementation of the Agenda 2063 was a priority because ordinary citizens on the continent were the drivers of the process.

"The portfolio of trade and industry should be a major contributor to the transformation of Africa. If elected, we will in this connection,and as a team, develop a broad programme on Africa's industrialisation," he said.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs are the Electoral College of the African Union Summit.

The executive body of the African Union is composed of a chairperson of the Commission, deputy chairperson and eight commissioners in different portfolios.

Zambia now has one out of the eight seats at commissioner level. The summit started on January 22 and ended yesterday.

The other Zambian candidate Austin Sichinga who was contesting the position of Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture was knocked out on a technicality...Read More
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