RB leaves for Angola tomorrow, Ethiopia month-end

rupiah_bandaPresident Rupiah Banda will fly to Angola on Sunday to watch the Zambian national soccer team participate in the Orange African Cup of Nations.
Sport Minister Kenneth Chipungu who is in the presidential entourage confirmed the president’s ‘flight plan’.

It is not clear when the president will return as Zambia will on play their first game on Wednesday, January 13, against Tunisia.

And in three weeks from now, president Banda is expected to join other African rulers in Ethiopia for the African Union Summit.

The next AU summit will be held in Addis Ababa from 31 January to 3 February, 2010.

The most important item on the agenda is transferring of AU chairmanship from the incumbent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafy.

Zambia and other Southern Africa leaders are backing Malawi’s president Bingu Mutharika for the position.

Two days ago, Foreign Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met in Maputo, Mozambiaque and reiterated the region’s full support for Malawi in its bid for the leadership of the African Union this year.

Under the AU’s rotating system, it is southern Africa’s term to occupy the chair.

At its last summit, in Kinshasa in 2009, SADC decided to back the candidature of Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika, and the Foreign Ministers, meeting as the SADC Inter-State Politics and Diplomacy Committee, made clear that there could be no going back on this.

The final statement from the meeting “reiterated the 2009 Kinshasa summit decision that, consistent with the established rotational principle of the AU, Malawi remains the candidate for the chairperson of the AU, and SADC members individually and collectively commit to support Malawi in the process”.

Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi, who chaired the meeting, declared “Malawi is maintaining its candidature, and has heard repeated expressions of support and encouragement, including suggestions on how to make its candidature stronger, with greater possibilities of success”.

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