29th Summit of the African Union
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 04 July 2017
The 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union has come to close after 9 days, during which various statutory organs of the Union met to get status updates and make decisions on issues of importance to the continent. At the final press conference held in Addis Ababa today, the AU Commission (AUC) Chairperson H.E. Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat said the summit focused on three main issues:
Institutional reform of the African Union – H.E. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who is the leader of the reform team presented a report to his fellow Heads of State and Government. In its decisions, the Assembly agreed to expedite the reform process, taking into account the inputs received from member states.
Photo: The opening ceremony of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU. (Katlholo Maifadi, DIRCO)
Theme of the year 2017 “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”. Strong commitments were made to promote the youth. The summit also discussed migration and employment. In this regard, a presentation was made by H.E. President Idris Deby Itno of Chad, who is the Leader on the AU theme of the year. His Excellency updated the summit on the various initiatives undertaken across the continent in line with theme.
Peace and security- the AUC Chairperson, H.E. Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat said that Africa would continue to do its best to Silence the Guns by 2020 and to speak with one voice on major peace and security issues, especially through agreed common positions. Throughout the summit, which started on the 27th of June, the AUC Chairperson emphasised on the need for the continent to give priority to conflict prevention and anticipation. He called upon the regional groupings and mechanisms to intensify their actions, in close cooperation with the relevant bodies of the African Union.
During the closing ceremony, two Commissioners of the AUC were sworn into office. They are H.E. Ms. Agbor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang of Cameroon who was elected to the post of Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology and H.E Mr Victor Harison of Madagascar who was elected as Commissioner for Economic Affairs. In addition 3 members were elected to the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption and another 4 were elected as members of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
Liberia’s President H.E. Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gave her final address to the African Union Assembly before her country proceeds to elections to elect a new head of state. She thanked the African Union for its support in the fight against Ebola. “In challenging times when we were faced with the Ebola virus, the solidarity of the African Union was phenomenal”, she said. Her Excellency highlighted the role played by the 855 African health workers from various African nations who went to provide support in the three affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
African Union Commission