Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji this morning represented President Edgar Lungu at the 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union which was held via videoconferencing due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The two-day Assembly is expected to among other things address various issues affecting the African continent as well as witness the change of leadership of the AU Assembly Chairperson from South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who takes the mantle for the year 2021.
The Summit will further discuss progress made on Africa’s response towards the COVID-19 pandemic as well as receive a Progress Report on the ongoing Institutional Reforms of the African Union.
Outgoing AU Chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa noted that the AU is committed to developing African solutions to African problems.
President Ramaphosa said the Continent’s response to COVID-19 has been driven, coordinated and capacitated by African scientists and medical experts mainly located within the Africa Centres for Disease Control Prevention.
He stated that there is no time to waste if the African continent is to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic adding that there is need to intensify partnerships and greater cooperation.
President Ramaphosa said more efforts by the AU is required in the next frontier of the pandemic to acquire vaccines for the people around the continent.
And in- coming AU Chairperson Felix Tshisekedi urged the AU member states to continue putting efforts together in fighting the pandemic by consolidating the initiatives of the Union.
President Tshisekedi noted that the AU states must also put efforts together to address issues of peace and security, promote culture and African heritage as well as address issues of climate change.