RPT - DRC President Takes Over Helm Of African Union With Speech 'Rife With Platitudes' - Writer

RPT - DRC President Takes Over Helm of African Union With Speech 'Rife With Platitudes' - Writer

JOHANNESBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 09th February, 2021) The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, has taken over the helm of the African Union (AU) from South Africa's leader Cyril Ramaphosa with a policy speech on pandemic, armed conflicts, cultural renaissance and free trade. DRC writer Hubert Kabasu Babu Katulondi has denigrated Tshisekedi's speech as "rife with platitudes and bereft of particular policies."

Over the weekend, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa relinquished his one-year stint as the AU chairman to the president of the Subsaharan nation at the 34th African Union Summit.

"When one looks at what he said in his opening speech he did not give enough strategies. He touched on the usual, putting the people first and building the AU. He did not talk about how it will work for the people, as in methods and steps to be taken," Babu Katulondi told Sputnik, adding: "He did not state actions or projects that will move Africa forward. Africa has major issues, COVID-19, dwindling economies, problems of terrorism."

The theme of the AU summit over the weekend, held in a virtual format, was "Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.

" Babu Katulondi posited that the DRC, as a major representative of the Bantu supraethnicity, can go a long way in promoting culture on the continent and returning stolen artifacts from Western countries.

"As far as Congo [DRC] is concerned, he has to promote culture and arts seeing that Congo is a Bantu culture with abundant resources which will help Africa capitalize on the wealth of culture and force colonial powers to bring back our artifacts which they took when they colonized us," the thinker said.

With conflicts and unrest battering the Sahel region, parts of the DNC itself, Mozambique, the Central African Republic, as well as tensions along the Nile and pandemic-related economic strife, Babu Katulondi said that the DRC president "is going to have to employ an equipped diplomatic team."

In addition to Tshisekedi's ascendance to the chairmanship, the African Union members on Sunday also re-elected Executive Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, for another four-year term.