The 29th ordinary summit of the African Union (AU) heads of state and government has officially opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under new leadership elected in January 2017.
The new Chairperson’s of both the AU commission and the Assembly of the Union of heads of state and government, Mousa Faki Mahamat and President Alpha Conde of Guinea respectively both addressed the Summit.
The two leaders called on member states of the continental union to unite and work together in order to achieve peace and development as envisaged the AU’s agenda 2063.
As Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council, President Edgar Lungu gave a report on the state of peace on the continent under the theme, silencing the guns in Africa.
And President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe called on African leaders to wean the AU from donor dependency to create ownership of development on the continent.
The Zimbabwean president handed a cheque of $1 million to the African Union (A.U.) Foundation as part of efforts aimed at lessening the body’s dependence on foreign aid.
The 93-year-old formally handed over the cheque to the A.U. Commission (AUC) chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on the floor of the AU headquarters during the 29th Heads of State summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The amount had been raised from the sale of cattle donated by Zimbabwean farmers following an appeal by Mugabe to help the A.U. self fund its operations.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu was last night was among several heads of state and government that attended the African Union committee of ten (C10) summit, which was called ahead of the 29th Ordinary summit, which has kicked off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today.
The meeting was called to follow up on the Committee of ten summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in May 2017.
During the open session of the Summit, Chairperson of the C10 group, President Ernest Koroma of Siraleone commended President Edgar Lungu and other heads of state that attended the Malabo.
“Let me thank the President of Zambia, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea and Congo who themselves attended the summit in Malabo and made valuable contributions to the meeting,” he said.
ZANIS reports that President Koroma called on members of the group to fully commit to the ideals of the group in order to achieve its mandate.
“Those of you that attended the Malabo meeting will remember that one of the conclusions was that we need to reenergize our efforts engagement in pursuing our mandate of the position of the C10 to be adopted,” said President Koroma.
The summit later went into a closed session in which a report of the Malabo summit was adopted.
And President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda disclosed that the C10 leaders reaffirmed the position of the C10 summit to push for reforms in the UN Security Council.
“The leaders of the summit met yesterday and reaffirmed a common position that the United Nations must accelerate reforms in the Security Council, if this does not happen quickly it will reinforce the view that Africa is marginalized,” he said.
Mr Chanda revealed that a report of the Malabo summit which seeks to strengthen the levels of engagement by the C10 in the quest for permanent representation in UN Security Council was adopted as a common position of the Committee of ten.
The AU committee of ten is a grouping of 10 countries drawn from each region of the continent mandated to spearhead Africa’s pursuit for permanent representation at the UN Security Council.