President heads to Ethiopia to assume AU Chairship

Friday, February 7, 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a South African delegation to the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government Summit to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 9 - 10 February 2020.

During this Summit, South Africa will officially assume, for the second time, the chairship of the African Continental body - the African Union (AU).

South Africa assumed the chairship the first time, 18 years ago in 2002, during the formation of the AU.

“Amongst many issues on the agenda, the 2020 Assembly will consider the report of the 35th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, the peace and security situation on the continent, and draft legal instruments of the AU,” said the Presidency in a statement on Thursday.

The continental body will also receive presentations from various Heads of State and Government championing specific thematic issues of the Union, namely:

  • King Mswati in his role as the champion for the African Leaders of Malaria Alliance (ALMA);
  • King Mohammed the VI of Morocco as the champion for Migration issues;
  • President Paul Kagame on championing Domestic Health Financing;
  • President el-Sisi as champion the for Post Conflict Reconstruction Development (PCRD);
  • President Edgar Lungu of Zambia on Ending Child Marriage in Africa;
  • President Danny Faure as the champion for the Blue Economy; and
  • President Nana Akufo Addo as the champion for Gender Development Issues in Africa.

The ceremony, wherein the current chairperson, President Abdel Fattah el Sisi of Egypt, will officially hand over the reins to President Ramaphosa, will take place at the opening session of the assembly.

The Summit will be held under the theme for 2020 “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.

“In this regard, the assembly will take stock of progress and challenges to peace, stability and sustainable development in Africa,” said the Presidency.

President Ramaphosa will be supported by International Relations Minister Dr Naledi Pandor, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; State and Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo; Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams; Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu; and Public Services and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu. –