The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Mr Kwesi Quartey, has called for the educating of the younger population of Africa in science, technology, culture and languages to enable the continent to become the processing centre in the 21st century.
This, he explained would enhance the integration of economies and ensure that Africa took part in the greater industrial revolution which was being spearheaded by digitisation.
Mr Quartey made the call when he addressed the fourth annual meeting of the Organs of the AU in Accra.
He said: “Africa has to change the narrative about its situation because it was known to have so much in terms of resources.”
According to Deputy Chairperson of the AU the integration of African economies would also enhance growth, in line with the AU Agenda 2063, aimed at promoting prosperity, well-being, unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens where the full potential of women and youth would be realised.
The meeting reviewed recommendations from previous sessions, particularly the implementation of AU staff regulations and rules, financial rules and regulations and policy coordination between the AU Commission (AUC) and the Organs, which are responsible for initiating and translating the objectives and visions of the AU.
The review will also enable the AU to improve its corporate governance practices and operational efficiencies, promote accountability and the implementation of audit recommendations.
It also served as a platform for the AU to assess its human resource needs, harmonise its policies and position the organisation to deliver on Agenda 2063, which is the continental policy framework that guides the sustainable development of the continent.
The Organs, which comprise the Peace and Security Council, the Pan African Parliament, based in Midrand, South Africa, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, based in The Gambia, were set up under an executive instrument by the Executive Council of the AU.
Others are the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, based in Arusha, Tanzania, the African Union Commission on International Law, the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, the Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Directorate of Administration and Human Resource Management.
The rest are the Directorate of Programming, Budget, Finance and Accounting; the Directorate of Conference Management and Publications and the Medical and Health Services Directorate.
Representatives of the various organs also reviewed the relationship between the secretariats and elected officials and also explored ways to address the root causes of conflict and contradictions between the legal instruments of the organs and the AU rules.
Mr Quartey said Ghana was the host country of the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the meeting would afford representatives of the various AU organs the opportunity to be abreast with trade processes and how to propose solutions to aid integration.
Describing the AfCFTA as a potential game-changer in the economic fortunes of the continent and its people, he said:
“It requires the AU, as an organisation, to sharpen its working methods to meet the demands of the more integrated economic agenda that is being pursued.”
He urged the Ghana government to give the AfCFTA Secretariat the needed support and also ensure that various immunity agreements were put together because the prospects for growth were high.
The Head of Finance and Administration at the AU Advisory Board on Anti-Corruption, Ms Dorica Kgwadi, said the Agenda 2063 had set out various pillars for the assessment of key decisions to ensure the adoption of gender parity within the AU.
Member states, she said, had also adopted a decision for 30 per cent of young people to be engaged to work within the AU.
“This meeting is also to ensure that representatives of the various organs coordinate to ensure that we all work within a specific agenda to avoid an overlap of roles in our activities,” she added.