New AU Boss Chastises African Leaders For Coming Late For Meetings

Mr Conde also complained about slow internet connection at the AU offices
The new African Union chairman, Guinea's President Alpha Conde, has given a tough-lashing to leaders who come late for meetings or leave early, AFP news agency reports. 

In his address at the closing ceremony of the annual AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Mr Conde, 78, said: 
"From now on we are going to start on time. If we say 10:00am then we must start at 10:00am.
How can we explain that when we have meetings with outside countries, we are on time, whether it be in China, Japan or India?
Why can't we be on time for our meetings? And why when we go to these meetings we stay until the end but when we come from afar to Addis Ababa, we leave right after the opening ceremony?"
AFP reports that Mr Conde's remarks received a big applause - from lower level representatives as many heads of state had already left the Chinese-built AU headquarters.

He also lamented about the AU's failure to keep up with technology:
How can you imagine that in an era of new technology we are still working with microphones from the sixties? How can we explain that the internet connection in our headquarters is very slow when next door, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the internet works better?"

Mr Conde took over the AU's rotating presidency from Chad's Idriss Deby.

He became Guinea's president in 2010 in the first democratic election in the West African nation since independence from France in 1958. 

  - BBC

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