By Kemo Cham
The Malwi leader, Bingu Bingu wa Mutharika, has been elected chairman of the African Union, replacing flamboyant Libyan leader, Muammar El Gaddafi. This development occurred at the 14th Ordinary Assembly of heads of states and government of the AU in the Ethiopean capital, Addis Ababa. The Malawian eader, as part of his acceptance speech, singled out food security as a top priority during his term of office. Challenging the continent to strive to achieve food security for its people without having to export food, Dr Wa Mutharika said,“I am therefore  proposing that our agenda for Africa should focus on Agriculture and food security. I propose that our slogan should be ‘Feeding Africa through new technologies; let us act now’”. The new AU Chairperson suggested investment in the construction of the necessary infrastructure as a way of supporting food production.  The theme of the summit, ICT, also featured in Dr Wa Mutharika’s speech, describing it as a essential in achieving the grand plan as it will “enable our farmers to access important information on agricultural products, advanced technologies, research findings, as well as markets”. The Malawi leader also harped on a range of other issues he said would be of priorities:-  the promotion of peace and security, democracy and good governance ; encouraging member states to ratify the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women and to ensure its implementation; and fighting against the marginalization of Africa by ensuring that the continent’s collective voice is respected at various international gatherings, among them the Doha Round of Talks, the Economic Partnership Agreements negotiations, climate change commitments, and debt relief initiatives. Dr wa Mutharika also urged the Assembly to begin to act on its own resolutions, saying, “Let us rise and take our place. Let us act now.’’