-The 29th AU Summit kicked off with the 34th Session of the Permanent Representative Committee with the theme of “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth”, The summit opened Tuesday 27 June 2017, at the African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the Thirty Fourth (34th) Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC).
– The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Deputy Chairperson, AUC Commissioners, all the Ambassadors of the 55 African Union member states based in Addis Ababa, representatives from the diplomatic corps, the international community, civil society, private sector and invited guests among others.
-In his first address to the PRC as Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, emphasized on the relations between the PRC and the new Commission.
– Highlighted the main issues to be considered during the PRC meeting, which include: Reform of the African Union, for which the follow-up of the implementation, in accordance with the July 2016 and January 2017 summit decisions, has been jointly entrusted to the Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Idriss Deby Itno of Chad and Alpha Conde of Guinea. This is in addition to migration, peace and security, and implementation of the decision of the 0.2% levy on imports of eligible products in order to ensure in predictable, sustainable and equitable financing of the AU.
-The PRC session is one of three statutory meetings of the AU Summit, which include the 31st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, and the 29th AU Assembly. The summit was historic, as it was the first summit with the full participation of all the fifty five African countries, after the admission of the Kingdom of Morocco during the 28th AU Assembly in January this year, also the first summit for the new Commission of the AU, which was elected in Jan 2017.
-The 4th AU High Level Panel on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) came aligned to the AU Theme of the year 2017: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”, with special emphasis on “empowering young women and girls”. The High Level Panel, wass organized around the four pillars of the Demographic Dividends Roadmap. These are: Employment and Entrepreneurship; Education and Skills Development; Health and Wellbeing; Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment.
-The AU 4th HLP on GEWE wass organized on the margins of the 29th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly by the African Union Commission (AUC)’s Women, Gender and Development Directorate in collaboration with the Department for Human Resources, Science and Technology, the Department of Social Affairs, Department of Peace and Security, and the Office of the Special Envoy on Women in partnership with United Nations Agencies and Civil Society and Private Partners as well as Media.
-Signing of Partnership agreement between the African Union Commission and New Zealand. The African Union Commission (AUC) and The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have signed a Partnership Agreement, providing a framework and basis for the establishment and implementation of the ‘New Zealand – Africa Geothermal Facility’. The goal of this facility is to expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy in Eastern African countries. The Partnership Agreement was signed by the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, and the Ambassador for New Zealand to the African Union, H.E. Mr. Bruce shepherd. The signing ceremony took place at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday, 28 June, 2017.
-The Facility aims to provide responsive, flexible and timely geothermal technical assistance and capacity development support for focus countries of the Africa Union Regional Geothermal Programme including the eligible countries of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) namely Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Comoros, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Eretria, Mozambique and Malawi, with possibility to expand it to all members of African Union in future.
-The MFAT will provide up to NZD 10.2 million for the Facility that will mobilize and make available to African countries the breadth of New Zealand geothermal expertise relevant to country priority needs.
-The Facility will operate for an initial implementation timeframe of five years from 2017-2020 and will be hosted by the Department of Infrastructure & Energy of AUC.
-Thirty-First Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Theme: “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth’’
Objective: The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other ministers or authorities designated by the Governments of AU Member States to deliberate on issues on the agenda of the AU Summit in preparation of the Twenty Ninth (29th) Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union.
-In terms of priorities, and in relation to peace and security, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki pledged to continue visiting areas where member states continue to face the scourges of wars and terrorism. He recalled that since taking office in March 2017, he had already been to Somalia, South Sudan, the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin.
– On the issue of the relationship between AU decisions and the willingness to implement them, the Chairperson made proposals on how the challenge can be resolved. “Either we take decisions and adopt the texts to apply to them or we defer the adoption of these decisions until we are ready to implement them”.
– A Seminar on Carrying Forward the Legacy of the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Trial of Hissène Habré.
– Opening Session of AIDS Watch Africa Heads Of State and Government Meeting. AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is a statutory entity of the African Union with the specific mandate to lead advocacy, accountability and resource mobilisation efforts to advance a robust African response to end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030.
– Launch of the Newsletter of the Judgment of the High Military Court on the Repression of the Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
– A donation of USD One million to capacitate the African Union Foundation has been made by H.E. Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, during the opening ceremony of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa. H.E President Mugabe said the funds were raised through the auction of more than 300 head of cattle owned by, him following a pledge he made to the African Union in 2015.
– DotAfrica, Africa’s own Top Level Domain (TLD) officially launched a road show, during the opening ceremony of the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly. DotAfrica is an African initiative created by Africans for Africans and the worldwide audience of companies, organizations and individuals interested in, associated with and connected with the African community and markets.
– AGS awards were given following an extensive analysis of quantitative and qualitative data over the last five years, as sourced from national statistics agencies and international data hubs recognized by the African Union and its partners. Three awards were given, to 3 Heads of States and Governments for their contribution towards African Union’s gender agenda as follows:
• H.E Professor Alpha Conde president of the Republic of Guinea and Chairperson of the African Union- for designating a Leader for Gender and Development, thus elevating this agenda among the “big issues of concern” for the continent.
• H.E Mr. Nana Akufo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana for having accepted to be the Leader for Gender and Development in Africa.
• H.E Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia for being the first woman elected as Head of State in Africa.
– The 19th Ordinary General Assembly of the Organization of First Ladies of Africa (OAFLA), was officially held today at the African Union Headquarters under the theme “Building on 15 years of engagement to harness the demographic dividend of Africa through promoting the needs of adolescents and their access to youth-friendly health services”.
– The 19th General Assembly of OAFLA elected H.E. Mrs. Roman Tesfaye First Lady of Ethiopia to be OAFLA’s President for the period 2017 – 2019. Similarly, the First Lady of Burkina Faso, H.E. Madame Adjoavi Sika KABORE was elected Vice President of OAFLA for the same period.
– 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.
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 Cameroun 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.The African Union is committed to Strengthening a people centered Union through active communication of the programmes of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of Member States and other stakeholders in defining and implementing the African agenda.
The African Union is committed to Strengthening a people centered Union through active communication of the programmes of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of Member States and other stakeholders in defining and implementing the African agenda.