Ethiopia is once again playing host of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union in its capital Addis Ababa just few months after hosting the 28th Summit in January this year.
The country’s government has said it is ready to host the 29th edition even as a number of leaders across the continent and the world are expected to fly into the country for the two-day summit.
On Tuesday, the 34th session of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) of the African Union (AU) opened in the framework of the 29th AU summit.
The PRC meeting prepares the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the AU Executive Council which will take meet from June 30 to July 1, and will be followed by the session of AU heads of states on July 3-4.
Bu before that, a number of notable events took place at the AU headquarters during the January Summit.
President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Conde was elected as the Chairperson of the African Union. Former Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat was elected as the new chairperson for the African Union Commission. Ghana’s Ambassador Thomas Kwesi Quartey was elected as the Deputy Chairperson.
Eight Commissioners for the running of the Commissions’day to day affairs in the field of Politics, Defence , Trade, Agriculture, social affairs and others vital areas for the managements of the continents development agenda were also elected.
The leaders also rolled out the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by Year 2020.
Under the theme, “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth”, leaders exchanged views and made fundamental decisions to achieve the Demographic Dividend in Africa.
Heads of state and Government decided that a Special Youth Envoy will be appointed to give effect to the African Demographic Dividend Agenda and engage key decision makers in the implementation of a road map with key deliverables and milestones to guide Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on concrete actions to be undertaken in 2017 and beyond and to commit to investing in a better future for young people.
The Kingdom of Morocco was readmitted to the Union as a full member after walking out over the occupation of the Western Sahara following what was perhaps the most contentious debate on following the provisions of the Constitutive Act and its interpretation.
In every African Union summit in January, it was agreed that there would be a breakfast meeting between the United Nations Secretary-General and all the African Heads of States, translating the strong commitment of Africa to a very close relationship with UN.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged to secure funding for African Troops on AU/UN peace keeping Missions.
The African leaders also deliberated the need for the international community to respect the decisions of the Union in regards to the ICC. Gambia, South Africa and Burundi for withdrawing from the Court were supported for withdrawing from the court.