JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, left the island on Wednesday, May 22, for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she will participate in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organization of African Unity/the African Union.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, made the announcement at Wednesday’s Jamaica House press briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister.

“The Prime Minister’s participation forms part of Jamaica’s foreign policy objective of deepening engagement and relations with the African countries,” Senator Falconer said.

The Prime Minister will join African Heads of State and Government at the 21st Ordinary Session of the assembly from May 26 to 27, where leaders will assess and enhance efforts towards achieving integration, prosperity and peace in Africa.

She will address the summit and also participate in the celebration of Africa Day on May 25. The Prime Minister returns to the island next Tuesday, May 28.

While the Prime Minister is away, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, will be in charge of the government.

Mrs. Simpson Miller will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. A.J. Nicholson; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller; Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Her Excellency Ann Scott; Special Envoy to the African Union, Ambassador Carl Masters; and the Prime Minister’s support team. The cost of the trip is approximately $8.6 million.

The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963 to promote unity and development; defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of members; promote international cooperation; and coordinate members’ economic, diplomatic, educational, health, welfare, scientific, and defence policies.

The Heads of State have declared the 2013 as the Year of Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance.

Contact: Andrea Braham