I’ll Promote Regional, Continental Integration – Bathily, ECOWAS Candidate For AU Chair

I’ll Promote Regional, Continental Integration – Bathily, ECOWAS Candidate For AU Chair

Abdoulaye Bathily, candidate of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for Presidency of the African Union says he hopes to facilitate regional and continental integration by optimizing the collective resources while building an effective and efficient AU Commission if elected.

The Senegalese who hopes to replace Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma when she steps down as Chairperson later this month, noted in statement that “the African Union has an important mandate, which consists of continuing to play a crucial role in steering the continent towards the Africa we want,” he says, as he articulates the key objectives in his programme to fulfil Agenda 2063.”

Unveiling his “Project for the African Union,” Bathily promised to move the continental body beyond being an African Union of States to an union of people, adding that if elected, he intends to build on the collective vision and aspirations of Africa’s people.

He also pledged to reaffirm the leadership of the AU in global affairs, expressed intention “to contribute to the rebirth of Africa in order to fulfil the founding fathers’ dream of a continent that is united, peaceful and empowered socially, politically, economically and culturally.”

The prospective head of the AU lists restoring citizens’ trust in the AU among his top priorities as he defends the interests of the continent on the global scene. “I want to encourage intra-African mobility of citizens, trade and investment in the making of a new, bold, and forward-looking African world, confidently powered by the innovative energies of its women, men, youth and children,” he says.

In his quest to transform the organisation from an African Union of States to “an African Union of the people” he hopes to see the continent (finally) being allocated a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. He is also a strong advocate of the principle of African solutions to African challenges and as a peace mediator and peace builder, Bathily has participated in several conflicts and crisis management missions in Africa, including Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Madagascar, Guinea and Central Africa.

The pan-Africanist, with more than fifty years of social, political, cultural and academic experience and a vast network across the continent and internationally says that he is committed to bringing to the AUC “a combination of in-depth knowledge of the entire continent, a proven capacity to relate to all contexts and challenges and a clear vision and strategy.”

With PhDs in History and Human Sciences, Bathily has held senior political roles, most recently as Senior Minister in the Office of the President of Senegal. He is also a former Deputy-Speaker of the National Assembly. On the diplomatic front, Bathily has served as Special Envoy to the Chairman of the AU and he is currently the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Africa and Head of UN Regional Office for Central Africa.

Pope Francis Blasts Italian mafia Over ‘blood-stained money’

Pope Francis on Monday met with heads of Italy’s anti-mafia squad, blasting perpetrators of organized crime for their “money stained with blood” and “evil power,” praying that God touches their hearts to cease doing evil and adopt a new way of life.

According to the Pontiff, “Tte money from the mafia’s dirty business and crimes is money stained with blood, which leads to an evil power.

“The mafia phenomenon, which is the expression of a culture of death, must be resisted and fought,” he urged the anti-mafia squad chief, even as he praised the officials for their “difficult and dangerous” fight against organised crime.

He noted the burden that their job caused for their families, stressing the need to cleansed society “of corruption, extortion, illegal drugs and arms smuggling, of the trafficking of human beings, so many of whom are children reduced to slavery.”

France24 recalls that in March 2015, on a trip to Naples — a blackspot for organised crime — the pope set down a marker of his hatred of the mafia, condemning it for its “stinking” corruption, especially of the young and poor.