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Round Table Dicussion to celebrate 50th Anniversary of the African Union, Opening Remarks by Prof.Bui Nhat Quang
Ngày đăng: 31/05/2013

                                                                                                                        Hanoi, 30 May 2013

H.E. Madam Kgomotso Ruth Magau, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Vietnam

Excellencies Ambassadors and representatives of African Diplomatic Missions to Vietnam

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

On the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of The Organization of African Unity, nowadays the African Union, the Vietnam Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies together with the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa and African Embassies in Hanoi jointly organize a Roundtable Discussion on Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance

On behalf of the Vietnam Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies, I would like to extend to all African friends my heartfelt congratulations

Ladies and Gentlemen

The African Union (AU), first known as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), is a pan-Africanism organization established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with 32 signatory governments. In 2002, OAU was replaced by the AU and became a regional organization consisting of 54 African States. Among many of its objectives, the AU highlights the need to (1) achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the people of Africa; (2) defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States and (3) accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent;

 After 50 years of operation, the AU has achieved many essential cooperation results such as the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the formation of regional economic communities, the joint efforts to resolve crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Sudan, Somalia, etc…and more importantly, the feeling of an African unity is becoming more evident in practice. It is clear that the cooperation of all African states is enabling the continent to enjoy better access to economic development opportunities. Regional integration is one of major factors that facilitate African development in the last decade with average economic growth rates of 5% annually – an impressive growth in an international environment of many serious difficulties. Africa with huge advantages of natural resources, young population, the spirit of pan-Africanism and ideals of African renaissance is standing up to make full use of opportunities arising from regional integration so as to revive the continent and overcome challenges of the development process.

The relationship between Vietnam and African states is developing considerably in recent years. It is clear that Vietnam and African partners can support each others in many ways and cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture development, health services, sharing experiences of economic reform, etc… is enjoying rapid improvement in practice. Vietnamese government already has an overall scheme for Vietnam – Africa cooperation towards the year 2020 and in certain fields, a 2025 Vision for bilateral cooperation is also highlighted. In a fast-changing international environment, I strongly believe that opportunities are promising for Vietnamese – African relations and that after more than half a century of developing close friendship, valuable assets of the traditional ties will be reserved and brought into full play for the benefit of both sides.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The year 2013 has been declared as “the Year of Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance” by the African Union and the Roundtable discussion today is a good occasion for us to review opportunities and challenges of the AU after 50 years of establishment. This is also a good time to share development experiences and have a good look at current state of Vietnam – Africa relations so as to find out suitable ways to develop it to a higher level. In this roundtable discussion, we would highly appreciate opinions and comments of our distinguished guests – the diplomats, researchers, practical activists. I believe that the presence of discussants with rich experiences and knowledge about Africa and Vietnam – Africa ties will provide us with valuable and multi-dimension information so as to have a better understanding about urgent tasks of the AU and possibility to enhance Vietnam’s ties with African partners. 

Finally, I would like extend my warm welcome to all participants of the Roundtable Discussion.

My best wishes and congratulations for 50th Anniversary of the AU - the symbol of African Renaissance

Thank you.

Prof.Dr.Bui Nhat Quang, IAMES General Director