The President of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Tomislav Nikolic and the People of Serbia, have honored H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union, by bestowing him with the Highest Orders of the Republic of Serbia "The Order of the Serbian Flag First Degree", as an acknowledgement of the development and strengthened peaceful cooperation and friendly relations between the Republic of Serbia and the African Union. H.E Dragan Mraovic, the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Ethiopia and the Permanent Representative to the African Union, in his capacity as the Special Envoy of Serbia, conveyed the highest commendations for the role the Deputy Chairperson has played in raising the quality of the relations of the African Union and Serbia.
The commendation accurately underscored H.E. Mr. Mwencha's personal efforts and contribution to the transformation, integration, building and forging relations that have been key particularly in consolidating Africa Union's policies, priorities and programme of action, for the benefit of not only the African continent but the rest of the World. "He is a true son of Africa, he loves Africa, he loves people world-over and has built global relations that are cannot possibly be overlooked." Ambassador Mraovic stated.
Ambassador Mraovic observed that the Deputy Chairperson's visit to Belgrade in 2013, the first such high visit by the African Union, developed bilateral relations that have now matured into various collaborations of mutual interests and benefit for Africa and Serdia. He further noted that during the visit, the occasion presented an opportunity during which the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic cooperation between Serbia and the African Union was developed and later signed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E Dr. Dlamini Nkosazana Zuma in 2015.
In accepting the award, H.E. Mr. Mwencha expressed his gratitude to Serbia, stating his determination to enhance the bilateral cooperation between the Commission and Serbia, for continued mutual benefit and shared interest of Africa and the People of Serbia. He noted his regard for Serbia dated many decades back when he first visited Serbia 40 years ago, when it was federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was his first visit outside of Africa.
As an African Union partner since 2006, Serbia has in recent years offered military assistance to the peace and security architecture of Africa, particularly, in peacekeeping missions in 6 countries; Liberia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Central African Republic, DR Congo and Somalia.
Serbia is also a strategic partner in strengthening the Information Technology capacity of the Pan-African University (PAU), in South Africa.
Ambassador Mraovic, during the bestowing ceremony held at the African Union Headquarters, further expressed the zeal of the Republic of Serbia, for more collaboration with the African Union, in the areas of development such as infrastructure, energy and mining, agriculture, education, information technology and environmental conservation