Opening of the 24th Summit of the African Union

The Conference Center of the African Union (AU) is the headquarters, these days, of the meetings of the 24th summit of the institution. On Friday, January 30, President Obiang attended, along with the other African leaders, the opening of the Assembly of Heads of State, who enjoyed the presence of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General and H.M. King Felipe VI of Spain, as a special guest.

The headquarters of the AU is, as every year at this time, the headquarters of the African Union Summit, which this time was inaugurated in addition to the presence of presidents and leaders of all the countries of the institution with the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, and the participation of King Felipe VI of Spain. The opening ceremony of this work was chaired by the outgoing President of the AU and President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, H.E. Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, together with the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

After the elections held during this session, the Republic of Zimbabwe has assumed the presidency of the AU for the year 2015, while the positions of first, second and third vice presidents have gone to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Kenya, respectively.

After a minute of silence for the death of former Zambian President H.E. Michael Chilufya Sata, last October 28, 2014, several speeches were made at the session on Friday, during which the speakers highlighted the positive steps that the African continent is taking, although there are still obstacles suffered by the continent and that threaten its safety and development.

The Conference of Heads of State and Government agreed to create a single African market and appealed to all to continue helping Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Mali to eliminate the Ebola epidemic; in this sense, a special fund has been created to combat this disease.

They also stressed the need to find solutions to other problems affecting the AU member countries, such as Nigeria, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, among others, to restore peace and security.

Gender equality and empowerment of women have focused the attention on the summit. Therefore, many of the speakers have insisted that the issue of women must be at the center of the African Development Agenda 2063.

In his speech, the new Chairman of the AU, H.E. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, said he will count on all the African countries in the implementation of his mandate, and he made a special appeal to those present to confront terrorism, Ebola and misery, and particularly to achieve sustainable peace in their countries.

Robert Gabriel Mugabe, during his speech, congratulated the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea for having agreed to host the African Cup of Nations (CAN 2015) and the success this sporting event is achieving.

Finally, the new Chairman of the African Union proceeded to the official launch of the project of the Development Agenda 2063, a program that -he stressed- should be supported as a vehicle for growth in Africa.

In the afternoon session, they adopted the work plan and study of the reports on the Ebola crisis committee; of the Agenda 2063 of the AU; the Conference of the Ministers of Finance on Alternative Sources of Financing of the AU and the report of the Council for Peace and Security.

At the end of the day, the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, offered a dinner for the Heads of State and Government, including members of delegations from different countries and guests to the summit.

Text: Maria Jesus Nsang Nguema
Photos: Manuel Mangue and African Union
(Presidential Press Team)

Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office

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