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AU summit to discuss continent's economic plan

African leaders have assembled in Sandton to discuss the continent's economic plan known as Nepad.

FILE: African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - African leaders have assembled in Sandton this morning to discuss the continent's economic plan known as Nepad.

Their delegations have been heavily lobbied by civic organisations to revive the African peer review mechanism which is part of the process.

The continent's leaders are in the country for the African Union (AU) summit.

It will be President Muhammadu Buhari's first appearance at the summit as Nigeria' new head of state.

The African giant is one of the Nepad steering committee members.

Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Jacob Zuma will also be representing their countries in that capacity.

Their chief preoccupation today is financing Africa's infrastructure in a climate of determination to rely less and less on donor support.

That is much easier said than done, but absolutely imperative if the leaders are to live out their stated desire to find African solutions to African problems.

Meanwhile, Burundi's government has called on the AU to appoint a new facilitator for its country's dialogue.

Celebrated Burundian singer Khadja Nin is set to speak on the sidelines of the summit where she will add her voice to the chorus of critics of president Pierre Nkurunziza whose bid for a third term in office has sparked protests.

She's called for greater diplomatic pressure on Nkurunziza to step down.

LISTEN: Khadja Nin talks about the unrest in Burundi.

ANGELINA JOLIE TACKLES WOMEN'S RIGHTS AT AU SUMMIT

US Actress Angelina Jolie called for equal rights and a global fight against violence against women.

She was speaking ahead of the continental summit where women's empowerment is a central theme.

Jolie was invited by AU Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and praised the AU for taking the fight for women's rights forward.

"You have put women's rights at the heart of this summit and the AU's agenda and that is unbelievably important."

But she says the world has a long way to go.