African Union deliberates on trade, reforms

Amina Mohammed, Abuja.

African leaders are deliberating on issues affecting the continent at 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, AU, in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

The leaders are discussing solutions to conflicts on the continent, funding for the AU, youth development, trade and AU reforms, among other things.

The two-day summit is being held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth.”

The Executive Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC), Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in his address, focused on four main issues: the priorities of the African Union; progress in institutional reform; the need to speak with one voice and the link between decisions reached as well as the will to implement them.

Mr. Moussa Faki reiterated his call for Africa to speak with one voice. “Several events have shown that whenever we have maintained our unity and spoken with one voice, we have won victories,” he said.

In terms of priorities, and in relation to peace and security, Mr. Moussa Faki pledged to continue visiting areas where member states 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.

With reference to the theme of the year, Mr. Moussa Faki explained that African youths are hungry for action and want results. “In all the countries I have visited, the fears of women and young people are most poignant”, he added

He added that the AU must make decisions that translate this urgent social need into concrete action.

The opening ceremony of the Executive Council meeting took place in the presence of  Mr. Thomas Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, Commissioners of the AUC, representatives from the diplomatic corps, the international community, civil society, private sector, invited guests and the media among others.