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Zuma sworn in as first chairwoman of AU Commission


09:31, July 17, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The newly-elected chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was sworn into office early on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to lead the pan-African institution.

Jean Ping, Zuma's predecessor who had served since 2008, congratulated the new chairwoman and wished her very best in his farewell speech at the closing ceremony of the 19th AU Summit, held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the wee hours of Tuesday.

"It is a special moment in the history of our organization as, for the first time, our heads of state and government have deemed it necessary to elect a woman to lead our cherished organization," said Ping.

Stating that he was proud of what the AU Commission had achieved in the past four years, Ping called for further collaboration among AU member states and the African people for a better future of the organization.

Boni Yayi, president of Benin and also chairperson of the AU, commended Ping for his contribution and his efforts to resolve the many challenges facing Africa.

Erastus Mwencha, the newly-elected deputy chairperson of the AU Commission, and five new AU commissioners also took the oath at the closing ceremony.

The five new commissioners, elected by the AU General Assembly for a four-year term, will be in charge of peace and security, political affairs, social affairs, infrastructure and energy, and rural economy and agriculture, respectively.


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