Vice President Inonge Wina is expected in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia tomorrow, Friday 26th January 2018 to represent President Edgar Lungu at this year’s 30th ordinary session of the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit.
The summit is scheduled to take place from 28th to 29 January.
Ambassador Sikaneta expressed confidence that the Vice President‘s participation at this year’s 30th ordinary session of the African Union of Heads of State and Government Summit demonstrates great importance that President Lungu attaches to women empowerment.
She observed that Mrs. Wina’s attendance is the first in history as the female Vice President at the continental body since the country joined the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU) on December 16, 1964.
ZANIS reports from Addis Ababa, that Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta disclosed this in an interview today.
The Vice President who arrives at 20:30hours, Ethiopian time, is scheduled to participate in a number of engagements that awaits her.
She noted that the summit will table a number of important issues that are of great benefit to the country.
Ambassador Sikaneta added that the Vice President will be joined by the three cabinet ministers who include Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji, Mines and Mineral development Christopher Yaluma and Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo.
Ambassador Sikaneta further described the Vice President’s presence at the summit as significant in that, it will further raise the status Zambia’s participation.
She highlighted that chief on the agenda will include two main issues which will be the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government Summit endorsing Zambia as the host of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, ECOSOCC, this year.
She explained that ECOSOCC is an important advisory organ of the AU which, the Heads of State in January, 2016, decided to relocate to Lusaka, Zambia.
“In the past two years, we have been working on the legal processes and financial implications concerning the move to Zambia”, she pointed out.
The Ambassador indicated that by March-April, this year, the relocation process should be in place.
Ambassador Sikaneta also mentioned the adoption of decision of which country will host the African Minerals Development Centre whose responsibility is to implement the continent’s mining vision.
In view of this establishment, four countries namely Guinea, Kenya, Sudan and Zambia bid to participate in hosting the African Minerals Development Centre.
She pointed out that Zambia came first on the score card after evaluations of the bidding process were examined in the four countries.
She, however, remains optimistic that Zambia will scoop the offer of hosting the African Minerals Development Centre.
At bilateral level, the Vice President will be engaged in eight (8) meetings among them the Leader of State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres and the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.
On other fronts of Silencing the Guns 2020, Ambassador Sikaneta stated that Zambia has continued to play a leading role in coming up with a roadmap of Silencing the Guns 2020.
“It was crafted in Zambia under the leadership of President Lungu who chaired the meeting and gave guidelines on how to proceed”, she explained.
The Vice President will also discuss issues on the C10, elimination of hunger in Africa including the subject of gender, among others.
The Vice President is also expected to meet investors from the Hujian Group of China who have already expressed interest in opening up a shoe manufacturing company in the country.
She said the company is expected to create about 5, 000 jobs for the youth.
The other important engagement and of national interest is the re-establishment of Zambia Airways where the Chief Executive Officer will meet the Vice President.
The Assembly is the African Union supreme decision making organ comprising Heads of State and Government from all member states.
The Assembly determines the Africa Union’s policies, establishes its policies, adopts its annual programme and also monitors implementation of its policies and decisions.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame will take over from Alpha Conde of Guinea.
Mr. Conde who reigned over the AU business from January 2017, is expected to handover the chair on January 28 2018 during the Assembly’s Official opening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Among the continental issues to be tabled include the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a development which came about due to fighting between the Government of that country and the militia group.
The result of the conflicts resulted in a poor state of affairs as more that 13, 000 refugees have sought asylum in Zambia.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu has held discussions with African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to the local media of that country, Dr. Gebeyehu has assured AUC Chairperson of Ethiopia’s readiness and commitment to carry out the summit successfully.
On Monday, January 23, 2018, the AU Summit started with the 35th session of the Permanent Representative Committee.
As the Permanent Representative Committee ended yesterday, the 32rd session of the Executive Council has opened today, the 25th January 2018.
It is expected to conclude business on 26th January, 2018.
It works in support of the AU and is responsible to the Assembly.
All the member states take part in the Executive Council whose representation is at Foreign Affairs level.
This year’s African Union theme is dubbed, ‘winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.’ The Organisation of African Unity (OAU), a successor of the African Union was established in May, 1963.