Politics, Africa

African Union leaders gather in Addis Ababa for 36th summit

Summit begins with African leaders observing minute of silence for victims of earthquakes in Türkiye, Syria

Andrew Wasike  | 19.02.2023 - Update : 20.02.2023
African Union leaders gather in Addis Ababa for 36th summit


Dozens of African heads of state and government on Saturday participated in the official opening of the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Azali Assoumani, the president of Comoros who is the new chairperson of the AU Commission, started the summit by asking the participants to stand in solidarity with Türkiye and Syria to observe a minute of silence for the victims of the earthquakes.

Assoumani in his speech underscored the need for coordinated efforts by African countries to achieve peace and prosperity through the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: Africa needs action. First — economic action. Africa is rich in potential but it is not rich in global support.

“Investing in Africa’s prosperity requires finance and developing countries are repeatedly left in the dark, the global financial system routinely denies them debt relief and concessional financing while charging extortionist interest rates,” Guterres said, adding that the UN has made a new call to radically transform the global financing architecture in this regard.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, for his part, lauded the Pretoria Peace Accord between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) that led to the end of the conflict.

Abiy asked African nations to expand the spirit of “African solutions to African problems.”

Kenyan leader William Ruto emphasized the importance of early prevention of diseases and an aggressive approach to the manufacturing of vaccines and medical products on the African continent.

The summit will also address issues such as security, food crises, and other political and socio-economic matters affecting the continent.

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