COTE D'IVOIRE: Amara Essy’s election celebratedABIDJAN, 13 July 2001 (IRIN) - Former Ivorian foreign minister Amara Essy received a warm welcome on Thursday when he returned home from Lusaka, Zambia, where he was elected to head the newly-born African Union. Abidjan residents flocked to the streets in a tribute to Essy as his motorcade drove to the official presidential residence of President Laurent Gbagbo.
Essy, who was elected secretary-general on Monday to oversee the year-long transition of the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union, has had a long and distinguished diplomatic career. The African Union takes Africa a step closer to its goal of a united continent. Essy will oversee the creating of the Union’s central bank, court of justice, parliament and other institutions. He said on the Gabon-based radio, Africa No.1, that governments needed to put all means at his disposal, especially financial, to ensure an efficient transition process.