AU pushes for stronger continental collaboration

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pretoria - The 29th African Union (AU) summit concluded on Tuesday with calls for strong collaboration among African countries to tackle key regional and global issues.

In his closing remarks, AU chairperson Alpha Conde, who is also President of the Republic of Guinea, called for strong collaboration and solidarity to deal with issues of development, peace and security.

President Conde underscored the need for African countries to speak with one voice and to address terrorism as well as migration, which he said takes Africa's vital forces, the youth, out of the continent.

The closing session of the summit saw the swearing in of two senior AU officials: the Commissioner for Economic Affairs from Madagascar and the Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology from Cameroon, who will be serving a four-year term in the positions.

At the summit, deliberations among African Heads of State focused on hot issues, including AU reform and youth empowerment.

The source of financing -- as an important part of the AU's ambition towards institutional reform to ensure financial independence and reduce overreliance on development partners for funds -- was one major topic of the summit, according to Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU Commission chairperson.

Faki said a specialised committee comprising Finance Ministers from 10 countries will look into the slow pace of AU financing reform.

Faki also stressed the difficulties the African continent faces with regard to peace and security matters, saying that "Africa has become a theatre of terrorism".

"Unfortunately, important parts of our continent are facing crisis in the horn of Africa, including south Sudan, Sahel region, Chad lake basin and the central African region," he said.

‘Silencing the Guns’, the AU's major initiative to end all wars by 2020 and embark on efforts to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, was also a major topic of the summit, Faki said.

The summit was convened under the theme, ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth’.

According to Faki, strong commitments were made to promote youth empowerment on the continent as well as to reduce the effects of migration on the people of Africa. - Xinhua

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