Press Release

26 June 2014

President Zuma concludes Working Visit to Equatorial Guinea

President Jacob Zuma has today concluded a successful working visit to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he led the South African delegation to the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly (AU Summit) under the theme: "2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa."

President Zuma stated that agriculture has great potential to enable sustainable development, food security and job creation in Africa.

"An emerging issue identified by the AU leaders was the need for young people to appreciate the importance of agriculture in the economy of their countries".

"African leaders also noted with concern that women are still involved in subsistence farming. Women must take the lead in agriculture and contribute to this growing economic activity, which is vital for dealing with food security," said the President.

The African Union Heads of State and Government also discussed peace and security matters, in particular the mobilisation of resources and operationalisation of the African Capacity for Immediate Crisis (ACIRC).

“In order to respond to crises on the Continent, the AU Summit took a decision last year to operationalise the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises as an interim mechanism, until the African Standby Force is established", said President Zuma.

In this regard, the President stated that countries that have volunteered to contribute resources to the ACIRC met during the Summit to discuss the state of readiness of the ACIRC.

"The African Union Commission concluded its verification visits to the contributing countries and presented a report on the framework for the operationalisation of the ACIRC, which was endorsed by the contributing countries. It is expected that the ACIRC will be launched by October 2014. We have therefore implemented an important decision of the AU", said President Zuma.

The AU Summit will conclude its deliberations tomorrow, Friday, 27 June 2014, having taken decisions on key issues on the agenda of the Summit pertaining to development, peace and security, climate change and the mobilisation of resources.

The finalisation of the Agenda 2063 Continental Framework, as part of the vision of Africa in the next 50 years and the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, are also expected to be part of the outcomes of the Summit.

President Zuma was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Mr Collins Chabane, Minister of Public Service and Administration; Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security; Mr Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation; Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; as well as Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration.

For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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