Wednesday April 17, 2024

AU summit concludes by outlining Africa's priorities

Published : 20 Feb 2024, 02:01

  DF News Desk
This photo taken on Feb. 17, 2024 shows a scene of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of the Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo: Xinhua.

The 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) concluded on Sunday, outlining Africa's priorities for 2024 and beyond, reported Xinhua.

The two-day meeting, which brought together African leaders from AU members at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, was held under the AU's theme of the year for 2024, "Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality and relevant learning in Africa."

As the African continent, under the umbrella of the 55-member organization, focuses on education in 2024, the summit addressed how to enhance education and skills to meet the continental vision and market needs.

In addition to deliberating on the progress, challenges and prospects of Africa's overall development, African leaders attending the summit discussed key continental priorities ranging from peace and security to climate change, economic development, and Africa's role in the wider global multilateral context.

The summit also witnessed the election of Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ghazouani, president of Mauritania, as the chairperson of the AU for 2024, taking over the baton of command from Azali Assoumani, president of the Comoros.

Assoumani, who presented a comprehensive report on the achievements and activities undertaken by the AU, noted achievements in peace and security, socio-economic development, youth and women's empowerment, and Africa speaking with one voice and taking common positions on global issues, among others.

The assembly, which is the AU's highest decision-making body, reflected on the achievements and gaps marked during the first decade of implementing the AU's 50-year continental development blueprint, Agenda 2063.

The summit, which included a night of closed-door discussions, adopted the second 10-year (2024-2033) implementation plan of Agenda 2063, also known as the decade of acceleration. The AU described the adoption of the second-decade implementation plan and its priorities as a historic milestone for the African Union, its members, and all African citizens.

Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat highlighted some critical concerns facing the continent, including political and institutional instability, peace and security perils, the adverse effects of climate change, economic governance deficits, continental integration challenges, and poverty, among others.

On the positive side, Faki commended the successful advancement of institutional reforms and the strides made in regional integration, notably through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He further noted progress in some areas, including the African common positions on climate change, the reform of global governance, the financing of African peacekeeping missions, and the AU's accession to the Group of 20 (G20).

Ghazouani, the new chairperson of the AU, underscored the collective need for concerted efforts to realize Africa's socio-economic development ambitions, build continental stability, and meaningfully augment Africa's presence and voice on the international stage.

The Mauritanian president stressed the crucial imperative for African countries, under the leadership of the AU, to join hands toward creating a peaceful and prosperous Africa free from conflict and other incessant development challenges.