Turning a new chapter in the history of Sri Lanka – Africa relations, the Commission of the African Union granted Sri Lanka Accreditation Status in the African Union (AU) with effect from April 2014 as a non-African State, the External Affairs Ministry said today. Sri Lanka is the 3rd South Asian country along with India and Pakistan to have obtained Accreditation Status in the African Union.
This new membership is a progressive reflection of the country’s new multifaceted Foreign Policy commitment of reenergizing its longstanding affinities with the African region.
Sri Lanka’s newly obtained Accreditation Status in the African Union presents more opportunities for partnership in development and mutually beneficial socio-economic and trade cooperation with the African States in broadening Sri Lanka’s engagement in the international arena. His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa’s State visits to Seychelles, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and visits from several African Heads of State/Government to Sri Lanka are a manifestation of Sri Lanka’s intensified engagement with Africa with the aim to consolidate mutual relations.
The African Union, a successor to the Organization of African Unity which was established in 1999 under the Sirte Declaration, is comprised of 54 African States. The Heads of State/ Government of the member countries meet bi-annually at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The vision of the African Union calls for; “an Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”. The AU strives to achieve a new, forward looking, dynamic and integrated Africa.
Africa is home to 19 AU member countries out of the 54 member states of the Commonwealth. The partnership programmes established between AU and other regions in political, economic, social and technical domains provide a wide ranging platform to deepen relations and cooperation with the African region. These partnerships are founded on trust, equality and mutual respect.
Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Uganda V. Kananathan, who is also concurrently accredited to Ethiopia, presented his credentials recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, as Sri Lanka’s first Permanent Representative (PR) to the African Union. Colombo Gazette