- Dr. Jean Ping has officially replaced Alpha Oumar Konaré as the Chairman of the African Union Commission, the executive arm of the continental body.
Mr Ping, was elected to the position few months back, used his first official day in office in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to send an important message to African leaders. He said for Africa to attain meaningful economic development, it has to follow the examples of the fast growing continent of Asia.
The 65-year-old man, who served 32 years in President Omar Bongo Odimba's government, promised to ensure a free and transparent administrative system that serves the interest of all.
He said there is need to create instruments of transparency, good governance and good administration to ensure guarantees to governments and donor agencies that contribute to the union's budget.
Dr Ping's predecessor stressed the importance of a united Africa. Mr Konaré, a former Malian President who served the post since 2003, also appealed to governments to separate the commission and other major AU institutions.
The new AU chief obtained PhD in economic science from the University of Paris, Pantheon-Sorbonne. He also holds two honorary doctorate degrees. Mr Ping's efforts has led to peace and stability in the hostile Central Africa region.
He had earlier served as the President of the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Dr Ping held several key portfolios, including the position of Vice Prime Minister and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Francophonie.
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