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By Godfrey Olukya  28-1-2014

The African Union Commission and the Government of New Zealand have
collaborated to produce a comprehensive guide to the African Union
system,The Africa Press has reported.

The first edition of African Union Handbook 2014 was launched in the
margins of the African Union Executive Council at the AU Headquarters
in Addis Ababa today Monday 27 January 2014 by Dr. Martial De-Paul
Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology of
the African Union, and Mr Murray Mc Cully, New Zealand’s Minister of
Foreign Affairs in the presence of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha,
Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, AU Commissioners and invited guests.

The African Union Handbook 2014 is a ready reference guide for people
working in all parts of the AU system as well as the AU’s many
partners and wider civil society. It has been modelled on the United
Nations Handbook, a publication that has been produced by the New
Zealand Government for over 50 years.

“Today, the AU is central to the advancement of Africa. It is the
pre-eminent organisation of the continent. This African Union Handbook
2014 will be a valuable guide to our Member States, citizens and
partners as they navigate the AU system,” said Dr. Ikounga.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African
Unity and African Union (OAU/AU), and as we engage in the process of
conceiving Agenda 2063, it is timely for the AU system to have this
guide” , added the AUC Commissioner.

“The handbook contains detailed and factual information about the AU
and summary information relating to its predecessor, the OAU, which
was formed in 1963. It illustrates some of the work that has gone into
building African unity, prosperity and peace through the AU, the solid
achievements of pan-Africanism and pathways to the future”, underlined
Dr Ikounga.

New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr McCully says New Zealand
is proud to contribute to the 50th anniversary celebrations and
collaborate with the Commission and produce the prototype AU Handbook.

“Given New Zealand’s expertise in developing the UN Handbook, it made
sense to work together on this publication. New Zealand is also
committed to future work with AU member states and the Commission in
areas of common interest, such as agriculture and food security,” Mr
McCully says.

The African Union Handbook 2014 is available from the Directorate of
Information and Communications in the AU Commission and New Zealand
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

END

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