Media release

African Union Summit kicks off in Durban

26 June 2002

26 June 2002

The events leading to the Inaugural Summit of the African Union (AU) in Durban commences with ambassadors and ministerial meetings on Friday 28 June. The Assembly of Heads of States will commence from 8 July.

53 Heads of States accompanied by Foreign Ministers will converge in Durban at the International Convention Centre to attend the last meeting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which is due to be replaced by the African Union(AU). The AU will be officially launched at the ABSA stadium in Durban on 9 July 2002.

The AU is geared towards speeding up political, social and economic development of the African continent.

The Theme for the Summit is: "Peace, Development and Prosperity: The African Century", which is derived from the objectives of the AU as stipulated in the Constitutive Act.

President Thabo Mbeki will be the first chairperson of the AU transitional period from the OAU to the AU. The duration of this chairmanship is one year.

The events of the Summit are as follows:

  • 28-29 June: Committee of Ambassadors meeting.
  • 1-2 July: Special Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers
  • 3 July: Business Summit hosted by Department of Trade and Industry
  • 1-2 July: Continental Civil Society Meeting hosted by Africa Institute of South Africa
  • 4-6 July: Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers
  • 8-10 July: Assembly of Heads of States

During the launch there will be a number of activities including a theme song produced by Caiphus Semenya and Jonus Gwangwa, military tattoo, mass choir performance, Abautu parade and Cape minstrel parade. South African and African artists will perform the song.

Mdu Lembede
Cell: 082 458 8464

Harold Maloka
Cell: 082 847 9799

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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