Director of Ceremonies,
The Commissioner for Economic Affairs representing the Chairperson of the
African Union Commission, Distinguished Heads of the Regional Economic
Communities, Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of
the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Your Excellencies and dear colleagues,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to Namibia on this occasion of the Ministerial Follow-Up Sub-Committee on the Implementation of Agenda 2063. I am extremely delighted to see you all in Windhoek. Namibia is your home. This is the country for which the OAU worked and mobilize support for our freedom and independence.
I wish you an enjoyable stay in our country, a home away from home.
As we are all aware, the Ministerial Committee on the Implementation of Agenda 2063 was established by the first Ministerial Retreat of the African Union Executive Council that was held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in January 2014. This was within the context of the last phase of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the OAU/AU. The Executive Council recognized the urgent need to establish a Ministerial Committee in order to provide political direction to the development of the final document of Agenda 2063 and its implementation.
Since its establishment, the Committee has extensively deliberated on issues such as: the aspirations of our people; Flagship Projects; streamlining and rationalization of the AU Summits and the AU Policy Organs methods of work; review of the AU strategic partnerships and the preservation and respect of the unity of AU positions and decisions in the international fora.
Furthermore, the Executive Council recognized the importance of interaction with various regional communities in order to harmonize the inputs of each region, hence the presence of the distinguished heads or representatives of our Regional Economic Communities (RECs) at this meeting.
The Bahir Dar Ministerial Retreat made several recommendations, amongst them:
? the Creation of an Annual Africa Platform for regular engagement between the political leadership, business leaders, intellectuals, the private
sector and civil society on issues of economic transformation and
? the development of an African Commodity Strategy;
? taking a lead in revising and strengthening key Pan-Africanist civil society movements, particularly the women and youth movements;
? building financial independence and sustainability of key continental bodies such as the AU Commission by adopting strategies for self-financing of both operational and programme activities,
? taking the lead in coordinating negotiations with member states to champion the indivisibility of Africa in all partnerships and international
fora and encourage pooled sovereignty around key integration issues and common African positions in areas were Africa benefits from block
negotiations such as trade, climate change, the green economy and collective food security, and the global Post 2015 and Sustainable Development Agenda. Further, subsequent retreats that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2015 and Mekele, Ethiopia, in January 2016, deliberated and agreedon issues such as:
? free movement of people and the African passport;
? harmonization of qualifications and higher education in Africa;
? free movement or goods and services;
? capacities for implementation of Agenda 2063; and
? tourism and wildlife conservation.
The above initiatives have been taken in order for us Africans to engage and seriously address the issue of the African Paradox "Rich Continent, Poor Africans". Wherever we go across the length and breadth of our beloved continent we see desperate faces of women, our children and the youth collectively demanding from us leaders to address this paradox and facilitate the realization of the "Africa we want". They call for an urgent
need to implement Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects. In other words they men, women and youth of African cannot wait till 2063. They yearn to see the signs that we have started effective steps in moving towards "the Africa we Want".
In this context, I commend those countries who have already embarked on the process of domestication Agenda 20163. I am happy to inform that two weeks ago Namibia held a workshop on the domestication of Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals and their incorporation in our 5th National Development Plan (NDP5).
Let me also add that Agenda 2063 clearly speaks to our Vision 2030 that is aimed to raise the living standards of our people to be close to those in industrialized countries, by 2030. Furthermore, H.E the President recently launched the Harambee Prosperity Plan to accelerate the implementation of national development programmes aimed at, amongst others eradication poverty, and development of the manufacturing industries in Namibia.
During the fourth Executive Council Retreat held in Nairobi, Kenya, in May this year, this Sub-Committee was set up and mandated to elaborate on the working methodology of the Ministerial Committee for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Agenda 2063, its Ten Year Implementation Plan and the Flagship Projects. The Terms of Reference will provide guidance to the Committees (STCs) to ensure a coherent approach in the implementation process.
We are mandated to come up with a clear and concise document that will be submitted to the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of States during the forthcoming Summit that will take place from 10 to 18 July 2016 in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda.
We have been entrusted with this important responsibility to ensure that Agenda 2063 becomes a reality. Our people have high expectations on the deliverables of Agenda 2063 and therefore we cannot afford to be complacent.
I wish you fruitful deliberations and now I have the honour to declare this meeting officially open.
I thank you