Aerial view of the Nelson Mandela Hall where the AU Assembly was held
AU 28th Summit Opens in Addis Ababa
MONROVIA, January 30 (LINA) - The African Union (AU) Monday opened its 28th Ordinary Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, with several heads of state and government, including Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, attending.
The Summit is being held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividends through Investing in Youths”.
This year’s summit will also consider the election of a new Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) as the tenure of the current Chairperson comes to an end.
Five candidates from Botswana, Kenya, and Senegal, among others, are contesting the top AUC post.
The current Chairperson of the Commission, Nkosazana Dlamani Zuma, was elected to chair the AUC in 2012.
Her leadership has seen transformation both in the operation of the commission and outlook of the infrastructure at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia.
According to a dispatch from Addis Ababa, President Sirleaf and delegation on Saturday arrived in the Ethiopian capital to attend the summit.
The ECOWAS Chairperson was received at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by ranking officials of the AUC and the Government of Ethiopia.
On Sunday, the Liberia leader joined fellow Heads of State at a Working Breakfast with the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
Talks at the Working Breakfast were centered on improving collaboration, coordination and partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.
The leaders of the continent also discussed with the new Secretary General on how to derive joint approaches on global issues with emphasis on matters that affect the African continent.
The breakfast gathering also commended President Sirleaf and ECOWAS for effectively handling the Gambian political crisis in a peaceful manner.
On Security Council matters, the African leaders and the new UN Secretary General agreed to work together in ensuring reform of the Security Council and particularly for the allotment of a seat on the Council to Africa.
Also on Sunday, the Heads of State gathered for a closed door retreat that lasted for hours in preparation for the 28th summit.
Thus far, President Sirleaf has held discussions with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the Chairperson and other officials of the ECOWAS Commission, representatives of partners and donors, among others.