The Heads of State and Government of the African Union met in Khartoum, Sudan on January 2006 and made some historic decisions:
On the political front, the Summit reaffirmed that the ultimate goal of the African Union is the full political and economic integration of the continent leading to the United States of Africa; It emphasized that the African Continent is a single human, geographical, political and cultural entity that can neither be partitioned, divided, annexed, nor integrated into any other region or part thereof into any space or continent other than its own; This meant clearly that North Africa could not be considered as part of the Middle East. The Assembly also took note “with satisfaction of the proposal of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya concerning Non-Submission of Decisions of the African Union Summits to the Ratification Mechanisms of AU Member States”. By so doing the AU took another decisive step towards the true political unification of Africa, which can only be arrived at if member states agree to transfer some of their sovereignty for the continent’s greater good.
Though some important political decisions were arrived at, the major theme of the 6th summit of the African Union was Education and Culture. On this front, several important resolutions were taken. The Summit endorsed the framework of the Plan of Action of the Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2016); It adopted the revised Charter for Cultural renaissance of Africa; Recognizing the importance of African languages as media of instruction and vehicles of culture for the achievement of African Renaissance, the Summit declared 2006 as the Year of African Languages and adopt the Draft Statutes for the establishment of the African Academy of Languages as an AU Specialized Office. Last but not least, the Heads of State and government of Africa recalled the previous commitments made to protect and promote African tangible and intangible cultural heritages as well as to develop appropriate policies for the development of culture and proportion of indigenous African knowledge and reaffirmed the indisputable interface between culture and education and the role of both culture and education in sustainable socio-economic development.
Africa is definitely moving in the right direction. It is up to each African to turn these lofty resolutions into reality in their field of endeavor. The ACE Foundation plans to work even harder with the AU Commission to create in African and in the Diaspora a network of African Union International Schools that will give to young African a world-class yet culturally relevant education. Students in these schools will be imparted with the competency and the commitment to turn the vision of the AU into reality.
For more on this topic read the Decisions of the 6th Summit of the African Union
DECISION ON THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF SEVEN HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT CHAIRED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
1. TAKES NOTE of the Report of the Committee of Seven Heads of State and Government;
2. COMMENDS the Committee of Seven Heads of State and Government for its Report;
3. REAFFIRMS that the ultimate goal of the African Union is the full political and economic integration of the continent leading to the United States of Africa;
4. REQUESTS the Commission to follow up on this Report in accordance with the Work Plan and the framework of action contained therein;
5. ALSO REQUESTS the Commission to consider the contribution of the Brother Leader Muammer El-Gaddafi and all other pertinent ideas discussed during this Session as well as others that may be submitted or arise through consultations with all relevant stakeholders and Experts as envisaged in the Report and to submit a consolidated document with a roadmap for consideration by the Assembly at its next Ordinary Session in July 2006.
DECISION ON A SECOND DECADE OF EDUCATION FOR AFRICA (2006 – 2015) AND THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE SECOND DECADE - (Doc. EX/CL/224 (VIII)) Rev.2
1. TAKES NOTE of the Report on a Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015) and the Framework of the Plan of Action for the Second Decade;
2. ACCEPTS the conclusions of the Evaluation Report, as amended;
3. COMMENDS Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the efforts made to achieve the objectives of the First Decade; and salutes their collaboration in the evaluation of the said Decade;
4. ACKNOWLEDGES that while there have been significant advances in many areas, a number of obstacles and challenges which confront the Continent have prevented the full achievement of all the commitment made in 1997 by the Organization of African Unity;
5. ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES the need to accelerate and expand provision of quality education;
6. ENDORSES the framework of the Plan of Action of the Second Decade of Education for Africa;
7. CALLS UPON Member States to devote sufficient resources for the implementation of the Plan of Action;
8. ALSO CALLS UPON the Commission, the Regional Economic Communities and the Member States to strengthen cooperation as well as support coordination mechanisms for operationalizing this framework of the Plan of Action;
9. RECOGNIZES the existence of other initiatives involved in education in Africa, such as, Education For All, Millennium Development Goals, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and call for a better coordination between these initiatives and the framework for action for the second Decade;
10. PROCLAIMS the period 2006 – 2015, the Second Decade of Education for Africa;
11. APPEALS to International Agencies, as well as Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society and Development partners to lend their technical and financial support to the implementation of the framework of the Plan of Action of the Second Decade of Education at national, regional and continental levels.
DECISION ON THE LINKAGE BETWEEN CULTURE AND EDUCATION
1. TAKES NOTE of the Report of the Algiers Conference of Ministers of Education in April 2005 and also the outcomes of the Extraordinary Session of the Ministers of Education in Addis Ababa in January 2006;
2. ALSO TAKES NOTE of the Report of the 1st Session of AU Conference of Ministers of Culture held in Nairobi, in December 2005;
3. CONVINCED that African cultural values and heritages should provide the basis for education at all levels;
4. RECOGNIZES the importance of African languages as media of instruction and vehicles of culture for the achievement of African Renaissance;
5. RECALLS the previous commitments made to protect and promote African tangible and intangible cultural heritages as well as to develop appropriate policies for the development of culture and proportion of indigenous
6. REAFFIRMS the indisputable interface between culture and education and the role of both culture and education in sustainable socio-economic development;
7. CONVINCED of the need to promote cultural literacy among Africans of all walks of life;
8. ALSO CONVINCED that culture and education are important weapons for the fight against poverty, HIV/AIDS pandemic and promotion of peace, stability and governance;
9. DETERMINE to eliminate certain cultural practices that have negative impacts on health, development, human rights and education;
10. RE-COMMITS to strengthen the interface between education and culture and give our full support to the implementation of programmes and projects to this effect;
11. URGES our ministries of culture and education to create the fora for regular consultations and streamlining culture in education and education in culture, in particular through the rebuilding of African educational systems;
12. CALLS UPON the Commission, in collaboration with Member States and RECs, to follow up and facilitate the implementation of this decision and to provide leadership in the process of re-instating the linkage between
culture and education in Africa, specifically through the African Academy of Languages as well as reporting periodically thereon;
13. INVITES UNESCO and other relevant partners to provide support to both ministries of culture and education in their efforts to strengthen the interface between culture and education.
DECISION ON THE REVISED CHARTER FOR THE CULTURAL RENAISSANCE OF AFRICA
1. TAKES NOTE of the recommendation of the Executive Council to adopt the revised Charter for the Cultural Renaissance of Africa;
2. ADOPTS the revised Charter as recommended;
3. APPEALS to Member States for the speedy signing and ratification of the revised Charter.
DECISION TO DECLARE 2006 AS THE YEAR OF AFRICAN LANGUAGES
1. TAKES NOTE of the recommendation of the Executive Council;
2. DECLARES 2006 as the Year of African Languages;
3. REQUESTS the Commission, in collaboration with UNESCO and other relevant partners to coordinate activities related to the Year.
DECISION ON THE STATUTES OF THE AFRICAN ACADEMY OF LANGUAGES (ACALAN)
1. TAKES NOTE of the recommendation of the Executive Council to adopt the Draft Statutes for the establishment of the African Academy of Languages as an AU Specialized Office to be located in Bamako, the Republic of Mali;
2. ADOPTS the Draft Statutes as recommended;
3. APPEALS to Member States, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), partners and other relevant organizations to support the AU Commission in the promotion of the activities of ACALAN.
DECISION ON THE HISSENE HABRE CASE AND THE AFRICAN UNION
The Assembly :
1. TAKES NOTE of the briefing by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and President Olusegun Obasanjo, the outgoing Chairperson of the African Union, on the Hissène Habré case and reiterates AU’s commitment to fighting impunity in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitutive Act;
2. DECIDES to set up a Committee of Eminent African Jurists to be appointed by the Chairperson of the African Union in consultation with the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union. The Committee shall be assisted in its work by the AU Commission (Office of the Legal Counsel);
3. MANDATES the Committee to consider all aspects and implications of the Hissène Habré case as well as the options available for his trial, taking into account the following benchmarks;
a) Adherence to the principles of total rejection of impunity;
b) Adherence to international fair trial standards including the
independence of the judiciary and impartiality of proceedings;
c) Jurisdiction over the alleged crimes for which Mr. Habré should
d) Efficiency in terms of cost and time of trial;
e) Accessibility to the trial by alleged victims as well as witnesses;
f) Priority for an African mechanism.
4. FURTHER MANDATES the Committee to make concrete recommendations on ways and means of dealing with issues of a similar nature in the future;
5. REQUESTS the Committee to finalize its work and submit a report to its next Ordinary Session in July 2006.
DECISION ON THE NON-SUBMISSION OF DECISIONS OF THE AFRICAN UNION SUMMITS TO THE RATIFICATION MECHANISMS OF AU MEMBER STATES
1. TAKES NOTE with satisfaction of the proposal of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya concerning Non-Submission of Decisions of the African Union Summits to the Ratification Mechanisms of AU Member States;
2. CALLS UPON all Member States to sign and ratify the Treaties, Charters, Conventions and Protocols adopted by the Assembly and
3. REQUESTS National Parliaments to hold, if necessary, extraordinary sessions for their ratification.
DECISION ON THE REVIEW OF SYMBOLS - FLAG OF THE UNION, ON THE HOLDING OF BILATERAL SUMMITS BETWEEN AFRICA AND OTHER STATES AND ON THE NON-ASSIMILATION OF NORTH AFRICA INTO THE MIDDLE EAST WITH REGARD TO NOMENCLATURE, CONTENT AND CONCEPT
1. TAKES NOTE WITH SATISFACTION of the proposals of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
2. EMPHASISES that the African Continent is a single human, geographical, political and cultural entity that can neither be partitioned, divided, annexed, nor integrated into any other region or part thereof into any space or continent other than its own;
3. DECIDES to submit the three proposals mentioned in the 1st sub-paragraph above to the Committee of Seven Heads of State and Government in conformity with the Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.90 (V) for consideration and make proposals to the 7th Ordinary Session of the Assembly scheduled in July 2006.