Pretoria: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says she will use her time as the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the organisation, as well as develop a special focus on gender equality issues.
In her first staff address on Tuesday at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Dlamini Zuma said her administration would also work on improving internal and external communication and resource mobilisation.
Dlamini Zuma said there was a lot of “ignorance” around the work of the AU. Good communication, she said, was important so that people could get a better understanding of what the AU does.
“Citizens should understand our successes and challenges. Only when they know the union, will they support it… We must focus on both external and internal communication.”
She also pledged that her leadership would continue to hold regular meetings with staff to ensure that everyone knew what was going on at all levels.
With regard to gender equality, Dlamini Zuma put the issue in the context of the decision by African heads of state and government at the formation of the AU in 2002, which made gender equality a key principle of the union.
“This decade has been declared the African Women’s Decade, so it will be important to pay special attention to gender equity during the decade and beyond,” she said.
The AUC, Dlamini Zuma noted, had equity at commissioner level, but the same could not be said of the other levels within the commission.
Furthermore, Dlamini Zuma said she expected a strong work ethic within the commission.
“The leadership will lead by example and will not expect staff to do what it cannot do… We will be fair and firm,” she said, adding that she will work in a transparent manner.