From JERRY MUNTHALI in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
PRESIDENT Sata has left Addis Ababa today to start his 14-day working holidayvacation after attending the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AfricanUnion (AU) Heads of State and Government summit which closed onFriday.
The President, who is accompanied by First Lady Christine Kaseba andhis Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah,arrived at Bole International Airport at about 08:50 hours local time (07:50 hours Zambian Time).
Mr Sata was ushered into the VIP holding room where he embraced andexchanged pleasantries with his Namibian counterpart, HifikepunyePohamba.
President Pohamba jokingly told Mr Sata that he respects three leadersin the world: Former President Kenneth Kaunda, the lateTanzanian President, Julius Nyerere and “Mr Zambia”.
The Presidential Challenger jet carrying Mr Sata took off from BoleInternational airport at about 09:50 hours local time.
Mr Sata was seen off by Minister of Foreign Affairs, WylburSimuusa,Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Bob Sichinga, Zambia’sambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta and her deputy, Sam Mujuba.
According to a statement issued by Mr Chellahlast Thursday, the President will be on a 14-dayworking visit.
Meanwhile, leaders at the just ended 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Heads of State and Government summit have resolved to expeditiouslyestablish an African United Force to address insecurity on thecontinent.
Speaking during the official closure of the summit here on Friday, AUchairperson Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz said African countries shouldmake available proper means to implement the priorities of thecontinent including assistance to all relevant players.
“To preserve its stability, Africa should with determination fightterrorism, transnational crime and drug trafficking,” Mr Abdul Azizsaid.
He also said African countries should pay particular attention to theyouth to prevent them from any deviation.
“For a united Africa which has its place on the international arena,we need to implement programmes dedicated to the youths likeeducation, science and technology. The promotion of Pan AfricanUniversities and national and regional centres of excellence will helpthe youths,” Mr Abdul Aziz said.
He also said it is high time for Africans to speak with one voice onall issues under negotiations like trade agreements.
“We need to scale up efforts to have equitable representation on theUnited Nations (UN) Security Council, UN systems and otherinternational fora,” he said.
Mr Abdel Aziz, who is Mauritanian President, said Agenda 2063 will beadopted at the next AU summit.
And addressing a press briefing after closure of the summit, Mr AbdelAziz said the AU summit has made important decisions which willcertainly change Africa to a more stable and developed continent.
He also said the leaders have resolved to establish an African Forcewhich will be made up of member states, empower women and youths andto vigorously fight terrorism and crime.
And responding to questions from journalists, Mr Abdel Aziz said theleaders have decided to allow countries that have committed themselvesto putting in place a standby force which is open to all countries andwill respond to immediate crises.
“The African United Force is still within the realm of the AU and itis open to all member states and it will not contradict the standbyforce,” Mr Abdel Aziz said.
On concerns that issues of conflicts on the continent haveovershadowed the theme of the summit which is “Agriculture and FoodSecurity” Mr Abdel Aziz said food security and agriculture arecritical to AU member states.
“But most of the countries, unfortunately cannot manage to be foodsufficient. This will be a continuous effort…if it was not necessarywe would not have adopted it as a theme,” he said.
On vocational training for the youth, chairperson of the AU commissionNkosazanaDlamini- Zuma said most African countries have educationsystems which are not tailored to the needs of their youths.
“There is a discrepancy between our education system and our needs. Weintend to meet the private sector… sector by sector so that they cancontribute and as part of Agenda 2063, they must be involved in skillstraining.
“What we learn at school sometimes does not meet what the industryneeds, we need to have a conversation with the private sector to knowtheir needs,” DrDlamini-Zuma said.
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