Friday, 23 July 2010 06:03

AFRICA: Child Health On AU Agenda


President Jacob Zuma will this weekend lead a South African delegation to the 15th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, which is expected to address Africa's poor maternal care record.

The summit's theme is Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa, which is in line with South Africa's continued commitment to working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which includes promoting maternal and child health.

The theme further demonstrates Africa's commitment to accelerating a reduction in maternal and child mortality.

Zuma and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi are to participate in a discussion on the matter on the first day of the summit, which starts on Sunday.

Also during the summit, South Africa will be seeking AU endorsement of its bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope initiative, which will be put forward for endorsement at the by the assembly. South Africa and Australia are competing to host the multi-billion rand telescope.

The summit will also afford the President an opportunity to thank the continent for their support during the hosting of the World Cup.

But, with memories still fresh of the twin suicide bomb attacks that killed 76 people in the Kampala, about two weeks ago, the summit's attention will also turn towards upgrading the rules of engagement for AU peacekeepers in Somalia after their Al-Shabaab rebels group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Ahead of Sunday's Assembly, executive council meeting of foreign ministers will take place where other troubled areas on the continent such as Sudan, Guinea, Madagascar and to some extent Zimbabwe will future.

South Africa will be represented by International Relations Minister Nkoana-Mashabane in council meetings which will deliberate on the promotion of peace and security and the AU's continued efforts in its pursuit towards the realisation of the African integration agenda.

The South African delegation will include Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi and Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica.

Source: BuaNews (Tshwane, south Africa)

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