Deputy President William Ruto presents a medal to President Zuma in Pretoria, South Africa. January 17, 2016 Photo/DPPS
South Africa President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President William Ruto are rooting for a strong and independent Africa Union that is not influenced by external forces.
The leaders said Africa must have strong financial independence to enable it guard against undue external influence cannot be manipulated by outsiders.
“As Africa we need to have a strong leadership especially at the Africa Union that cannot be manipulated by outsiders and committed to the African agenda,” said President Zuma.
Speaking at his Pretoria presidential residence in South Africa when he held talks with Mr Ruto, President Zuma said his country would consider the candidature of Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed for the post of Africa Union Commission chairperson.
Mr Ruto said the leadership of Africa should not take instructions from outsiders on issues pertaining to the continent.
“We want a strong leadership in the Africa union that cannot take instructions from outsiders on mattes pertaining to us (Africans). I believe Amb. Mohammed has the qualification and experience on matters affecting this continent,” said Mr. Ruto.
During the meeting, Mr. Ruto presented President Zuma with an award to be posthumously awarded to musical genius Ms Miriam Zenzile for her historic contributions and untiring efforts campaigning for the liberation of Africa continent from the shackles of colonialism and racism.
The two leaders discussed on the need for the continent to strengthen its intra-trade among its countries to create trade balance.
Mr Ruto said the economies of Africa countries could be strengthened if more efforts were done to promote intra-trade among the African countries as opposed to outsiders.
“There is tremendous potential in Africa trading with itself before reaching out to the world countries,” said Mr Ruto.
President Zuma also called on the need for Africa countries to work together in containing illegal ivory trade that threatens the survival of the wildlife sector.
“There is need to strengthen regulations that discourage illegal wildlife trade,” said Mr Zuma.