African ambassadors meet ahead of AU Summit

Pretoria - Ambassadors of the 54 Member States of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union (AU) are meeting at the headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

The 33rd session of the PRC is in the framework of the 28th AU Summit scheduled between January 30 and 31 under the theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth."

The three-day PRC meeting, which started on Sunday, will prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with recommendations for consideration by the AU Executive Council, which includes the Foreign Ministers of AU Member States.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chairperson of the AU Commission, noted that the 28th AU Summit would again deal with matters concerning Africans and the future of the continent.

She said Africa, under the framework of Agenda 2063, has recorded progress in modernising agriculture and agro-processing, tackling backlogs in energy, transport, water and sanitation and in making sure that Africa is not bypassed on the information highway and knowledge economy via investing in ICT.

Dlamini Zuma said the Pan-African bloc has a major task of adopting the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) this year.

The chairperson said a lot still needs to be done, despite the achievements on the continent.

"We must espouse and uphold the values of Pan-Africanism, which include putting Africa first, commitment to the African people, their dignity and aspirations, and our passion for democracy, peace, integration and development," she said.

In addition to electing new officials of the AU Commission, the summit will elect Dlamini Zuma's successor, and consider important issues related to the financing and institutional reforms of the AU. -