Africa ‘hopeful’ as OAU/AU turns 50

Africa was hailed as ‘the New Eldorado’ as African Heads of Mission joined Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and investors for a business conference to celebrate 50 years of the Organisation of African Unity.

In his keynote speech at the Africa Jubilee Business Forum, the Deputy Prime Minister referred to research showing that almost a quarter of African countries’ GDP grew at 7 per cent or more in 2012. “This is a story

worth telling, but one often lost in the narrative of conflict and instability,”said Mr Clegg.

The forum followed a successful Conference on Somalia, co-hosted by the UK and Somalia. It was attended by 54 friends and partners of Somalia, where the international community endorsed the Somali government’s plans for developing the country’s armed forces, police, justice and public financial management systems.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the people and the government of Somalia could be “rightly proud” of the progress they had made, but he warned that “progress was fragile” and required leadership in Somalia as well as the support from the region and the international community.

Backing that up, Britain recently opened its first embassy in Mogadishu in 21 years. Somalia has also appointed its first Ambassador to London in three decades and it is hoped that a new embassy will be established here soon.