The 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union came to a close, yesterday,, July 4 after 9 days of deliberations of the various statutory organs of the Union focusing on Institutional reform of the African Union, Peace and security and the theme of the year 2017 “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.
Speaking at a press conference held in Addis Ababa, June 4, Moussa FakiMahamatchairperson of the African Union Commission said the summit which focused on three main issues – Institutional Reform, Peace and Security and Youth – led to agreement of the Assembly to expedite the reform process, taking into account the inputs received from member states following the presentation of a report on Institutional reform of the African Unionto the Council of heads of state by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
The heads of State and Government also made strong commitments to promote the youth, in line with this year’s theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”. Migration and employment were also discussed at length following a briefing by President Idris DebyItno of Chad, on the various initiatives undertaken across the continent in line with theme.
Moussa FakiMahamat 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, Ms. Agbor Sarah MbiEnow Anyang of Cameroun Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology and Victor Harison of Madagascar Commissioner for Economic Affairswere sworn into office. 3 additional members were elected to the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption and 4 elected members of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia’s gave her final address to the African Union Assembly prior to Liberia’s presidential elections, in which a new head of state will be elected.
Highlighting the role played by the 855 African health workers from various African nations who provided support in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis she thanked the African Union for its support during “challenging times when we were faced with the Ebola virus, the solidarity of the African Union was phenomenal.”