The 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union have opened in Lusaka with a call on member states to actualize past commitments so as to develop and guarantee peace and security on the continent.
Chairperson of the Executive Council for the year 2022, Aïssata Tall Sall who is also Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs told the meeting today that the meeting was taking place at time when Africa was embattled amidst political crisis, the Coronavirus pandemic and also the war between Ukraine and Russia in Europe.
“ The 41st Session of the Executive meeting of the AU is taking place at a time when Africa is faced with a crisis in many areas such as internal conflict, Covid-19 and other challenges,” she stated.
Ms Sall addressing delegates attending the meeting taking place at Mulungushi’s International Conference Centre’s Kenneth Kaunda Wing, said the AU summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea early this year set out the tone and commitments for African countries to promoting constitutionalism, democracy and inclusive governance to strengthen peace, security and stability in Africa.
“Here the continent has an opportunity to improve on past commitments agreed upon in a number of areas to improve the welfare of Africa such as peace and security,” the official indicated.
Ms Sall also pointed out that the role played by the African Centre for Disease Control (CDC) cannot be over emphasized in having to respond to the fight against the Covid – 19 and other pandemics on the continent.
She said the meeting among other issues will look at the hosting of the AMA headquarters; and phase one and two on the operationalization of the Africa CDC and the financial sustainability of the Africa Epidemics Fund.
The summit which was held under the theme “Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent: Accelerate the Human Capital, Social and Economic Development” has attracted delegates from African countries is expected to close on July 17,2022.
Ms Sall also called for the efficient use of resources by members’ countries so that the continent manages to address its problems.
The Chairperson reiterated the need for the continent to strengthen integration so that all regional economic bodies combine their synergies to resolve continental problems collectively.
Ms Sall said it was gratifying the 41st Ordinary session has on its agenda to review documents on the status of integration on the continent and will also consider the success story on the tripartite free trade agreement between Common Market and Eastern Southern Africa (COMESA), East Africa Community (EAC) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
Ms Sall indicated that evaluation of the First Ten Year Implementation Plan and elaboration of the Second Ten Year Implementation Plan of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 development framework will also be reviewed so that successes and lessons learnt are replicated.
The Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister also reminded the meeting that the AU was clocking 20 years since its formation and it was in Zambia where it was translated and the country is now hosting the organization again.
She said it was important that the meeting comes up with recommendations and resolutions that will strengthen integration.
“Integration is indispensable for Africa to grow economically and develop. The Abuja 1991 commitments will only continue to be successful if the challenges and problems identified are addressed,” she said.
Ms Sall thanked the Zambian government for hosting the council’s meeting in the face of many challenges Africa and the world were facing.