There was no direct mention of China (and Russia) during the two-day EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium on February 17-18, but the country that currently wields the most strategic and diplomatic influence on the continent African was on everyone's mind.
China (to a certain extent, Russia) has found, through its Belt and Road initiative, BRI, a route to the African hearts to close the infrastructure gaps in many countries: roads, bridges, railways, energy, water and even projects. agricultural. China is today the biggest name in African infrastructure. This was not the case a decade ago. In 2013, Europe was responsible for 37% of major African infrastructure projects, while China was responsible for 12%. By 2020, China had jumped to 31% and Europe walked away with just 12%.
To make up for lost space, Europe is now planning a €300 billion global investment fund with a regional plan for Africa taking €150 billion, which is exactly half of what is spent in the public and private sectors. . Called the “Global Gateway Project”, this is Europe's response to the BRI, to provide alternative loans from China.
In this context, the 6th EU-Africa took off with a focus on investment, security, health and migration issues.
The structure of the summit, unlike the previous ones, did not have the format of a plenary. After opening ceremonies and “Family Pictures,” leaders entered focused deliberations at thematic roundtables (seven of them) with each leader, African or European, expected to choose just two meetings to sit in. Each round table was co-chaired by one (or two) African leader(s) and one (or two) European leader(s).
For President Muhammadu Buhari, naturally, the first option he had to take was to co-chair the panel on Peace, Security and Governance. These are some of the existential challenges facing Nigeria.
The second round table he chose was on health issues and vaccine production.
Before this summit in Brussels, the World Health Organization (WHO) had selected four countries to facilitate the production of vaccines on the continent. The selected countries -obviously arising from the considered influence of their former European colonial masters- were Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal.
The Buhari administration was convinced that these were unfair elections. Like many other countries on the continent, Nigeria had suffered from vaccine nationalism during peak periods of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccines were not available for sale, and when it came to donations, we were given too little, too late or, in some cases, expired vaccines that had to be destroyed shortly after reaching our shores.
In addition to this, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. We have the largest bank of professional and trained men and women. In terms of population size, one in five Africans is Nigerian.
Before the start of the summit, where a formal pronouncement on the choice of these countries was expected, the Nigerian Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had taken Nigeria's protest against its exclusion to all those who mattered and they were helped by the fact that we had our citizens. in key places where it mattered in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations with Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary General and the World Trade Organization, WTO, where Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has influence.
If the account is correct, the Director-General of the WTO is said to have told the WHO that his organization would have nothing to do with Africa's vaccine platforms if Nigeria, the most populous country, was not on the same list.
The election of the President of this round table went against his desire to make the last launch and to promote the preparation for the selection of the countries for the production of the Vaccines. And Nigeria won. In the end, six countries were chosen: Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
In Brussels, at this summit, the first meeting of the "Group of Four (G4)" of the African Union was held on the sidelines. The group is made up of Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Algeria (and Senegal and another co-opted member) and is regarded as the African equivalent of the G8 (now G7) in global affairs with a mandate to resolve various issues facing the African continent. continent.
The G4 leaders took the opportunity to discuss crisis areas in the continent with a view to finding practical and effective solutions.
Hopefully this will be a very influential and large group for Nigeria as a platform to bring African countries together, proactively coordinate actions and reactions for the continent and discuss how decisions could be better implemented.
During his stay in Brussels, President Buhari wrote an op-ed in the widely read and influential magazine Politico, criticizing unfair trade relations between Europe and Africa.
For example, the president noted that the Economic Partnership Agreements give Europe greater access to African markets. At the lower end of the value chain, these so-called free trade agreements ensure that agricultural subsidies deal another blow to African farmers. Artificially depreciated products flood markets, undermining their domestic competitors.
“At the top end of the valve chain, premature trade liberalization required manufacturers, such as textiles or agricultural processing, to close. In other cases, industries simply won't materialize because there are no incentives to enter the market. As a result, the jobs needed to satisfy the millions of young Africans who enter the labor market each year are not created.”
In a major speech addressing concern over the return of coups in Africa, President Buhari called for strong sanctions for unconstitutional leadership changes.
Noting that the African Union has often responded to these challenges by isolating such regimes and imposing sanctions, the President called on the EU and the rest of the world to go beyond condemning coups and imposing strong sanctions to countries that participate in unconstitutional changes of governments, as well as in the manipulation of constitutions in favor of term limits.
Another important message from the present is that while Nigeria in particular upholds democratic principles and institutions within ECOWAS and the AU; To ensure security in the sub-region and contain the spread of terrorist organisations, the necessary efforts and resources are important and the time has come for the EU and other global partners to become more involved.
The meeting in Belgium was expected to be a show of friendship, camaraderie and equality between the two continents and, with what we have seen in its results, the EU-Africa Summit will gain seriousness.
Garba Shehu is the senior special assistant to the president
The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) has launched an online survey for the general public on the harmonized mechanism for granting observer/consultative status to CSOs and the ECOSOCC National Chapter Framework . Executive Council Decision EX/CL 890 (XXVII) of June 2015 urges ECOSOCC to collaborate with the African Union Commission and AU Member States to actively seek a harmonized mechanism and clear criteria for granting observer status and AU advisory to civil society organizations (CSOs) in Africa. Likewise, Executive Council Decision EX/CL/Dec. 869 (XXVI) of January 2015, calls on the ECOSOCC to facilitate the establishment of national chapters of the ECOSOCC as a framework for accountability of elected members, as well as a conduit for disseminating information and mobilizing support for the programs and activities of the AU, in close collaboration with member states African citizens (including the diaspora) are invited to contribute to the knowledge development process through a three-phase online public consultation that will be complemented by a series of virtual consultations. This participatory process will ensure the development of inclusive and robust frameworks for the accreditation of CSOs and ECOSOCC National Chapters. To participate in the online consultation process, stakeholders can visit https://www.auecosocc.org/au-cso-frameworks ECOSOCC is mandated to actively engage civil society in the Union's processes and work, particularly with regard to African integration and development.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday in Brussels, Belgium, welcomed the designation of Nigeria as one of six countries in Africa designated as manufacturing bases for the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, Buhari also called for collaboration to address the effects of the pandemic.
Shehu said Buhari was speaking at the ROUNDTABLE ON HEALTH SYSTEMS AND VACCINE PRODUCTION at the ongoing 6th Europe-Africa Summit.
The President said: “I am delighted to receive the news of Nigeria being selected among the MRNA vaccine technology transfer recipients.
“We will make sure that the best possible use of the opportunity is made. Nigeria also offers to host the proposed Biomanufacturing Training Center Organization (OMS).
“We are committed to providing support so that the center works in the shortest possible time.
”Consequently, we are prioritizing the manufacture of vaccines on the African continent and the exchange and transfer of technology and intellectual property rights.
"We call on the EU to support the WTO towards the conclusion of negotiations on exemption from intellectual property rights to ensure that vaccine manufacturing can start early in Africa."
While praising foreign partners' efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine available, he urged them to do more, as less than 10 percent of the African population had received the shot.
He stressed that this situation could negatively affect Africa's development projections.
“We commend the efforts and support of Team Europe for the substantial contribution to the COVAX facility and the EU contribution to the vaccination campaign in Africa.
“But currently, less than 10 percent of Africa's population has been vaccinated, compared to more than 60 percent of total vaccinations in the EU, at the end of 2021.
“Sadly, millions of African citizens have yet to receive their first dose of vaccines, while their counterparts in Europe and other parts of the world are preparing for their third booster shot.
“When Africa finally received around 700 million doses of vaccines before the end of 2021 under the COVAX Fund, it represented a considerable shortfall for a population of 1.383 million.
“Nigeria strongly believes that these low numbers could not only cause a future health crisis, but could also negatively affect economic growth and our ability to achieve the African Union Agenda 2063,” the president said.
The Nigerian leader called for closer collaboration with the EU to deal with the effects of the pandemic on the African continent.
“The severe impact of the pandemic has once again highlighted the vulnerabilities of humanity and the weakness of health systems around the world.
“To mitigate future devastating health pandemics, there is an urgent need for increased funding for healthcare systems in Africa and increased local manufacturing of materials and equipment throughout the value chain.
"This can only happen with the cooperation that would close the gaps in the health systems of our continent."
He urged European partners to focus more on investments aimed at improving African health systems and vaccine production.
According to him, existing AU frameworks like the New Partnership for African Development and the national comparative advantages of some African countries are there to form the basis for such investments.
The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD) says that Nigeria recorded tremendous successes in infrastructure development and agricultural revolution during the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Princess Gloria Akobundu, Executive Director of AUDA-NEPAD, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday. Akobundu said the country has also recorded successes in humanitarian services and the fight against corruption. The APRM is the governing arm that NEPAD established in 2003 African Union States and Government as a unique method of accountability for African countries to review each other's governance. She said that the country was highly praised at the 31 APR forum on February 4. “The review report was wide-ranging, covering various segments of the socio-political economy and highlighting developments since the first peer review in 2008. "The president has assured that the government will effectively implement the National Program of Action (NPoA)," he said. AU Secretariat Senator Abba Ali, president of the APRM Governing Council, said that the process sought to strengthen good governance practices in the participating states. Ali said that being peer-reviewed for the second time was a big step towards the growth and development of the country. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa and AUDA-NEPAD, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, commended President Buhari for his support and commitment in reforming NEPAD to AUDA-NEPAD. Nnamani, represented by Senator Adelere Oriolowo, said that the National Assembly will give unequivocal support to AUDA-NEPAD to consolidate democracy and promote good governance for sustainable development. “NASS will ensure the adoption of the NEPAD Act by passing its bill, increasing funding and effective partnership to promote regional integration,” he said. House Committee on AUDA-NEPAD Chairman Mohammed Bago said the NASS would also support the agency in implementing the National Program of Action (NPoA). The Nigerian News Agency reports that the APRM is a bold and innovative attempt to improve governance and the well-being of all citizens. The objective of the APRM is to encourage the adoption of policies, norms and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, accelerated regional and continental economic integration. The second peer review came 13 years after the first, which took place in 2008.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an NGO, has urged the leaders of the European Union and the African Union to support the adoption of the new Global Public Health Convention/Treaty.
The chairman of the foundation, Mr. Michael Weinstein, made the call in a statement signed by AHF Nigeria, Mr. Steve Aborisade, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the world's inability to collectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic was a clear indication that we urgently needed to reform the international framework for public health governance.
Weinstein argued that until the principles of fairness, cooperation, transparency, and accountability were enshrined in an international agreement, the risk of another pandemic loomed.
Therefore, he called on EU and AU leaders to act and support the new public health convention, saying the eyes of the world were on them.
He also advised that nations must commit to real action and genuine partnership to address inequalities in COVID-19 vaccines, particularly at the upcoming EU-AU summit.
Weinstein said the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was running a campaign, drawing attention to the urgent need to "Vaccinate our world against COVID-19."
“Globally, AHF works in 45 countries and provides care and services to more than 1.6 million patients worldwide.
“Ahead of the European Union-African Union summit, we urge you to prioritize actions aimed at correcting the inequalities that have plagued COVID-19.
“This will be in the response area the exchange of vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics and technologies related to COVID-19.
“The pandemic has made it very clear: a global public health crisis cannot be solved piecemeal; it requires true partnership and cooperation.
“To date, the relationship between the EU and the AU in the response to COVID-19 can only be described as superficial charity. This is not real cooperation.”
According to him, we will only find a way out of the pandemic if the two continents work together as equals, and we urge him to instill this principle as the motto of the upcoming summit.
“There is no viable alternative to this approach if rich countries continue to stockpile vaccines or send nearly expired doses to Africa, the waves of the virus will continue to rise.”
He urged EU and AU leaders to specifically commit to actions.
The AHF president urged them to support the TRIPS exemption on vaccine patents and technologies at the World Trade Organization and make vaccines available to all who need them.
He also urged EU and AU leaders to ensure vaccines have a long enough shelf life to avoid unnecessary waste, as well as to expand local generic vaccine manufacturing, technological capacity and scientific expertise.
In addition, he urged them to end pandemic speculation, finance vaccine distribution infrastructure and human resources.
He also urged the leaders of the two continents to maintain a transparent dialogue between the EU and AU leaders, and to involve civil society in the cooperation process.
“The Vaccine Our World (VOW) campaign was launched to address the unethical disparity in access to the COVID-19 vaccine between wealthy and lower-income nations.
“To date, 10 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally, with 80% of them going to people in high- and upper-middle-income countries.
"Less than 16 percent of the 1.3 billion people on the African continent have received at least one dose."
A former head of Kenya's anti-corruption agency, Professor Patrick Lumumba, has criticized African leaders for their mishandling of insecurity on the continent.
He specifically rebuked the leaders for discussing trivialities during the recent African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary of the Stefanos Foundation on Wednesday in Abuja, Lumumba blamed challenges to Africa's greatness on problems of leadership structure and institutional corruption.
The anti-corruption czar who gave a lecture on “Census 2022: Concerns for Internally Displaced Persons and Implications for the 2023 General Election” argued that Nigeria was the missing link to Africa's greatness.
“During the two-day summit, like many Africans, I expected to hear our leaders talk about the conflict in Africa, especially Mali, Burkina Faso, about the insurgency in Nigeria, about the conflict in the Central African Republic, eastern Congo, the northern Mozambique, southern Cameroon, Sudan and different parts of Africa, but I only hear them talk about whether Israel should have observer status in the AU. In fact, they did not stop there, they assembled a team of African heads of state on whether Israel will have observer status in the AU. I was disappointed,” he said.
He noted that the proliferation of IDP camps in the region, which should normally serve as a temporary base but now permanent residence for many citizens, was the result of a lack of empathy from leaders.
According to the law professor, the time has come for Africans to ask themselves painful and uncomfortable questions.
“We Africans have been kind to each other for far too long. Now the time has come when we must tell the truth in all its nakedness that will goad our conscience.
“Many times when I think about the continent of 54 countries, each of which has a government, army, police, ministry of defense, I ask myself, why is my continent so insecure? Why is it that my team and family members are so traumatized, brutalized and abused, but those to whom we give the authority and power to preside over our affairs enjoy a security like no other?
“The tragedy of Africa is not that the leaders do not know it. They know. I can assure you that you know better than what is contained in this report because in every African government there is a unit whose sole duty is to deal with intelligence and security on a daily basis. But somehow nothing happens.
“In recent months I have been observing Africa. I have seen coups in Guinea, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and an attempt on Guinea Bissau and I have seen those in a leadership position as president who were once surrounded by security being humiliated and almost humiliated and I wondered. What do those in charge know what could happen to them?
Continuing, he said: “I want to tell you that before this continent gets better, I am afraid it will get worse. I am afraid it will be worse because when you look at Africa today, there are internally displaced people on every corner. Camps that were supposed to be temporary have become permanent accommodation
“Those who choose are seeing the suffering. Sometimes you wonder if blood runs through his veins.
Referencing one of the works of the most prominent writer and author, Chinua Achebe, Lumumba wondered how Africans in every election cycle foster dictators themselves and yet celebrate them.
“How is it possible that such a gifted continent continues to be demeaning in this way? How is it that this Nigeria that has the largest population of Africans, a country that has the most educated men and women on earth, a country that has produced good and great men, with great scholars and evangelists, is still talking?
“How is it that this Nigeria, the land of the great evangelists and Ulamas, can allow the conflict to take root? There are questions we need to ask ourselves because the day Nigeria gets it right is the day Africa gets it right.
“It is as much as saying that if Nigeria achieves economic development, Africa will achieve economic development and we pray that Nigeria realizes its economic potential on a daily basis.”
Stefanos Foundation program coordinator Mark Lidpo said terrorist activities in the country encouraged a high level of crime with impunity and have now led to political exploitation that is undermining the rule of law and good governance.
He argued that prejudice, intolerance, marginalization and sectional intrigues have further deepened the dividing lines, noting that there are no signs that "these evils will abate anytime soon."
Lidpo said that the foundation has been working to intervene in the agony, pain and suffering that this violence has caused thousands of people in the country.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The African Union (AU) at Expo 2020 Dubai (http://AfricaExpo2020Dubai.au.int) will host eight events in eight weeks as global attention turns to the global showpiece for one last hurray.
“From the beginning, we set our sights on showing the incredible and continuing opportunities that lie across the African continent and the easing of travel restrictions in member states is very welcome as it allows the African Union to continue its strategic activities. at Expo 2020. Dubai,” commented Dr. Levi Uche Madueke, the AU Expo General Commissioner, as he looks ahead to the next two busy months in Dubai.
As the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the African Union continue, at the end of the 35th AU Summit, where the Heads of State and members of the executive have presented, in great detail, the strategic framework for the next year, the activities of the Expo 2020 Dubai by the African Union serves as the perfect launch pad for Africa 2022.
“Inspired by the 35th Heads of State meeting and the commitments we heard, we are setting off pledging support for more unified development activities of our continent and our Expo 2020 Dubai activities further advance the cause of meeting the aspirations of Agenda 2063. - together with the member states present here at the Expo”, concluded Dr. Madueke.
The month of February is an exciting time for the African Union at Expo 2020 Dubai, with a number of key events scheduled to highlight the great opportunities and development projects on the African continent.
The first event kicks off with Spotlight on Africa, 'The Great Museum of Africa' (GMA) from February 9-11, followed by Climate Resilient Solutions for Greater Food Security, a Spotlight on Africa event taking place the week next, on February 22.
The calendar of events goes up a level, signing the month of love with the Day of Honor of Africa at Expo 2020 Dubai on the 27th.
To up the ante, the month of March will serve as the perfect chapter to close out the Expo, with no fewer than 5 events on the calendar.
These include featured events in Africa led by the Africa CDC, which continues its 5-year celebration, while the African diaspora community will come together to explore opportunities for collaboration with the continent. This will be followed by interfaith dialogues, a high-level CEO roundtable before concluding with the "Prioritizing the Free Movement of People" event, the perfect crescendo as the continent prepares to welcome new partners and give welcoming existing partners who have shown great belief in the possibilities of the continent.
The updated list of African Union events for the remainder of Expo 2020 Dubai is as follows:
09 - 11 February: Focus on Africa | Great Museum of Africa
February 18: Foci in Africa | Women and Climate Change
February 22: Foci in Africa | Spotlighting the Sahel: Climate-Resilient Solutions for Greater Food Security
February 24: Food from the Roots
February 27: Africa Day (Honor Day)
March 1: Foci in Africa | Assessing and Building Resilient Health in Africa with Africa CDC
March 13 and 14: Foci in Africa | african diaspora talks
March 7 - 10: Focus on Africa | interreligious dialogue
March 14 and 15: Foci in Africa | African CEO Roundtables
15 - 17 March: Focus on Africa | Prioritize the free movement of people and goods as a key milestone in regional integration
The public, media and all other interested parties can keep up to date with the latest from Dubai and get all the necessary information about AU activities or events by visiting the official AU website at Expo 2020: https:/ /bit.ly/3LwJuDP
President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, in Cape Town today, Friday, February 11, 2022, to discuss progress towards Africa's self-sufficiency in the production of COVID-19 vaccines and related treatments.
Dr. Ghebreyesus and the Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation, Ms. Meryame Kitir, are on a two-day visit to various vaccine-related sites in Cape Town.
The delegation is hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation, the Department of Health and other partners.
Dr. Tedros visited President Ramaphosa at the President's official residence in Genadendal to speak with the President in his capacity as the African Union COVID-19 Champion.
The two-day visit serves to showcase South Africa's capacity and infrastructure in developing vaccines for current and potentially new strains of COVID-19, and to highlight how manufacturing in South Africa is a critical contribution to the continent's response to COVID-19.
Dr. Tedros commended South Africa's ability in this regard and welcomed President Ramaphosa's continued commitment, as the AU's COVID-19 Champion, to global vaccine equity and to securing vaccines for Africa such as the continent with less access to this form of protection.
Dr. Tedros and Ms. Kitir's visit focuses on the mRNA vaccine technology transfer center and ongoing vaccination initiatives, including the mRNA Center in Afrigen, genome sequencing at the Biomedical Research Institute, and the filling and finishing facility at Biovac.
President Ramaphosa has welcomed this monitoring visit by the World Health Organization as an opportunity to outline the depth of intellectual and technological capacity on the African continent and the integrity with which intellectual property is harnessed to enable vaccine production. in Africa.
It was also noted that the chairman of the AU Commission, Mr. Mahamat, defended Israel's observer accreditation, noting that 44 member states have diplomatic ties with Israel.CAPE TOWN, South Africa, February 8, 2022/APO Group/ --
The president of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Mr. Supra Mahumapelo, has followed with great interest the developments of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) during the weekend, when he began its 35th regular session.
The Assembly was held in person, after the 2021 event had to be held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Mahumapelo also noted that Covid-19 and security were high on the agenda of the assembly, as was the controversial issue of Israel's observer status in the AU, granted by the Chairman of the Commission of the AU, Mr. Faki Mahamat.
“I watched all the African leaders in the assembly condemning the recent wave of coups and unconstitutional changes of government on the continent and was heartened by the unprecedented number of member states that have been suspended from the AU as they had no immediate guarantees. for a transition. to the civil government,” commented Mahumapelo.
Guinea, Mali, Sudan and Burkina Faso are currently suspended. However, the AU itself has been accused of inconsistencies, failing to suspend Chad after a military council took over in April 2021.
The President applauded the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and South Africa for leading the campaign with Algeria to include the issue of Israel's observer status in the AU on the summit's agenda.
"We have noted with relief that the summit has agreed to suspend a debate on the AU president's controversial decision to grant observer status to Israel, delaying a potentially divisive vote," said Mr Mahumapelo. South Africa and Algeria argued that the decision went against the AU's declarations of support for the Palestinian territories. It was also noted that the AU has launched a committee of six member states to examine this issue and report back to the AU. South Africa is one of the six.
It was also noted that the chairman of the AU Commission, Mr. Mahamat, defended Israel's observer accreditation, noting that 44 member states have diplomatic ties with Israel. To further the committee's oversight interest, the committee will request the Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor, to inform the committee how he intends to address some of the statements on South Africa contained in Mr. Mahamat's statement on the subject.
The meeting emphasized the review of the MoU between ECOWAS-ECCAS and the implementation of other existing joint projects before the end of the second quarter of 2022.ABUJA, Nigeria, February 8, 2022/APO Group/ --
Following the 40th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly was physically held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa from February 5-6, 2022. Several speeches graced the opening ceremony of the Assembly, including those of the President of the AU Commission, Hon. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat; the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Abiy Ahmed; the SG of the Arab League States, HE. Ahmed Aboul-Gheit; the Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres; the President of Palestine, HE Mr. Mahmoud Abbas; the outgoing President of the Union, HE Mr. Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and HE. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and new President of the Assembly of the African Union for the year 2022.
The Summit launched and declared the theme: "Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent: Strengthening agri-food, health and social protection systems for the acceleration of human, social and economic development" for the year 2022.
In its deliberations, the Assembly mainly considered among the items on the agenda: Reports on Peace and Security; Progress Report on the African Union Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Africa; Presentation on the Mobilization of Financing for the Integration and Development of the Accelerated Economic Recovery of Africa; Annual Report of the Union including its Organs and Appointments.
The Assembly also saw the election of a new Bureau of the African Union Assembly for 2022 and the President of the African Union for 2023. His Excellency President Macky SALL of the Republic of Senegal (Western Region) is the new President of the African Union by the year 2022. First Vice President of the Union – Consultations continue; Rapporteur – Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – (Central African region); Second Vice President of the Union – Libya (Northern Region); and Third Vice President of the Union – Angola (Southern Region).
In his acceptance speech, President Macky Sall thanked the Union and paid tribute to the founding fathers of the Organization who, even six decades later, with their bright vision, continue to inspire coexistence and illuminate the united march towards the ideal of African integration. . He pointed out that it is precisely in this pan-African spirit that President Léopold Sédar Senghor had proposed, at the OAU summit in July 1964, to establish "a permanent political and moral authority of the Conference of Heads of State and Government" to give momentum high-level management of the continent's affairs. He further highlighted the progress made on important initiatives such as NEPAD, PIDA, APRM, Vision 2063, institutional reform, the Great Green Wall, AfCFTA and, more recently, Africa's coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Macky SALL also stressed that the Union's challenges remain numerous and pressing; in particular in the areas of peace and security, the fight against terrorism, environmental protection, health and economic and social development... "I do not forget the resurgence of the phenomenon of coups d'état that constitutes a great attack against democracy and institutional stability in the continent”, he concluded.
In addition, four ECOWAS Member States: Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and Senegal elected by the Council were endorsed by the Assembly and will take a seat on the African Peace and Security Council.
On the sidelines of the Assembly, HE President Jean-Claude Kassi BROU signed the Revised Protocol on Relations between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities. This Protocol was signed in 2008 and revised in 2020.
He also met with the President of the ECCAS Commission, HE Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo with his team. The meeting emphasized the review of the MoU between ECOWAS-ECCAS and the implementation of other existing joint projects before the end of the second quarter of 2022.
The President also participated in a business dinner with his peers from other Regional Economic Communities: COMESA, CENSAD, EAC, EASF, ECCAS, IGAD and SADC. One of the main decisions made was the establishment of an official platform that will allow them to capitalize on the revised Protocol between the AU and the RECs and take advantage of it while considering the division of labor between the AU, the RECs and the MS.
It is also important to note that the Republic of Cape Verde became the forty-first (41st) State Party to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The ceremony was presided over by HE. the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Cape Verde, Miryan Djamila Sena Vieira; Ambassador of Cape Verde in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Belarmino Silva in the presence of the Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, HE Wamkele Mene.
The ECOWAS Delegation to the AU Statutory Meetings was headed by HE Jean-Claude Kassi BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission. Other members of the delegation were General Francis Behanzin, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; Ambassador Ake Pierre N'Guessan Diamidia, ECOWAS representative to the AU; Mr. Jerôme BOA, Director of External Relations; Mr. Eugene Etche, Executive Assistant to the President and Mrs. Valentine Atonde, Senior Program Officer at the ECOWAS Representation to the AU.