Sun City — President Jacob Zuma has warned that Africa will no longer tolerate those who take power by force and remove democratically elected governments by means of military coups.
"We have taken a conscious decision as the AU [African Union] that any attempt by people to take over a country by means of a coup will not be recognised as a country. We are very firm when we are saying this [is] a time for democracy to prevail in the continent," Zuma said on Wednesday after opening the 4th International Trade and Investment Conference underway in North West.
Coup leaders last month took over government in Mali, with Captain Amadou Sanogo moving to dissolve the nation's constitution. The takeover plunged the West African nation into political crisis, before the rebels succumbed to pressure late last week and agreed to return to constitutional rule.
Zuma also noted that the AU has set up a peer review mechanism that allows countries on the continent to subject themselves voluntarily to have their governance reviewed.
"So Africa is changing, Africa has changed, we are changing from what has been in the recent past... this also goes for those who visit Africa. Today, it is possible to touch most corners of Africa in one day," said Zuma.
Leaders were also discussing possible ways to make it easier to facilitate the movement of goods across the continent's borders so that trade can be faster.
"We are also discussing how we can ease the process of doing business in Africa so that instead of the long process of bureaucracy, you have a situation that will get you into Africa where you can do business as quickly as possible and fortunately all of these [issues] are being discussed at the AU level," said Zuma.
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