South Africa’s decision not to avail outgoing African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to serve for a second term has been described as a missed opportunity.
Dlamini-Zuma will officially step down from the position at the end of this month.
Dlamini-Zuma’s successor is to be elected at the AU summit to be held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Her term lapsed in June last year, but was extended with an additional six months by the 54 member countries.
She is tipped to contest the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC) at the party’s elective congress in December.
Political analyst professor Shadrack Gutto says failure to bid for a second term does not reflect well on South Africa.
“Now the problem with that is that she then just says South Africa wants her to serve one term instead of two terms as expected. And I think many Africa countries must be really disappointed by South Africa, having pushed so hard so hard and South Africa want to withdraw her and they have done so. What is the image of South Africa and its leadership on the continent? And I think we have lost a lot.”
Meanwhile, another analyst Somadoda Fikeni says Dlamini Zuma is leaving behind an undisputed legacy at the AU.
This includes adoption of the agenda 2063 programme which serves as footprint towards Africa’s development.
“It is a term of office that was impactful. She can point to some of the achievements; of course this was not without challenges. Perhaps the key achievement there was the crafting of the AU agenda 2063 and it was also the profiling of the women’s issues. But of course there were other challenges, the delayed response to Ebola, and the challenges in terms of dissolving some of the conflict zones.”
– By Amos Phago