28th AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT CONCLUDES WITH SWEARING IN OF NEW COMMISSION AND READMISSION OF MOROCCO
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 31st January 2017: The 28th Ordinary Summit of the African Union concluded on 31stJanuary at the African Union Headquarters. It was officially closed after the swearing in of the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Deputy Chairperson,
H.E. Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey and Commissioners.
H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat succeeds H.E. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who was Chairperson for four years.
The newly sworn in Bureau of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Commissioners are as follows:
Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E Mr. Faki Moussa Mahamat
Deputy Chairperson H.E. Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey
Commissioner for Peace and Security H.E. Mr. Smail Chergui
Commissioner for Political Affairs H.E. Ms. Minata Cessouma Samate
Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy H.E. Ms. Amani Abou-Zeid
Commissioner for Social Affairs H.E. Ms. Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil
Commissioner for Trade and Industry H.E. Mr. Albert M. Muchanga
Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture H.E. Ms. Correa Leonel Josefa Sacko
The Commissioners for Economic Affairs and Human Resources Science and Technology will be communicated at a later date.
During the closing ceremony, the outgoing Chairperson H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma noted that the 28th AU Summit took a historic decision to reunite the African community states with its decision to readmit into the Union The Kingdom of Morocco and she was satisfied with the strong foundations in place for Africa’s success. Her Excellency concluded by saying it had been an absolute and humbling privilege to serve as the Chairperson of the AUC and “for any African, there is no service more important, more honourable or more rewarding than to serve our continent and the citizens of Africa.”
H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in his remarks, mentioned that being the Chairperson of the African Union Commission is a heavy task but gave his assurance that he would dedicate and commit himself to serving the Union.
Speaking for the first time following the readmission of Morocco, H.M. Mohammed VI of Morocco, the King of Morocco mentioned that it was high time Morocco came back home and said that ‘Africa is indispensable to Morocco and Morocco is indispensable to Africa.’
The President of Guinea who is also the Chairperson of the African Union gave the vote of thanks and welcomed the King of Morocco to the summit. He highlighted some of the various decisions that were discussed, including the adoption of the Report on the proposed Institutional reform of the African Union which was presented by H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame’s, President of the Republic of Rwanda. In conclusion, he mentioned that Member States of the African Union are committed to financing the operations of the Union with their own resources saying ‘it is important for Africa’s independence and self-respect.’
OAFLA vows outcome of 18th General Assembly must be the source of transformation into healthy populations and a launch pad for moving Africa from poverty to prosperity without leaving the youth behind.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 31 January 2017- The 18th Ordinary General Assembly of Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) convened today at the Headquarters of the African Union (AU) and deliberated on the theme “Building on 15 years of engagement to harness the demographic dividend of Africa through promoting the needs of adolescents and their access to youth-friendly health service”.
Commemorating its 15th Anniversary, this special session recalled its commitment, solidarity and impact in offering 15 years of continental wide strategic leadership in terms of advocacy in areas of HIV and AIDS, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) and cervical cancer. African First Ladies have long been advocating and calling for higher levels of national and international attention and action towards issues that are otherwise neglected or inadequately pursued.
In her welcome remarks H.E. Mrs. Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia called upon First Ladies to continue leveraging their role and using their influence to facilitate sustainable solutions to the multitude of challenges facing Africans daily. She underlined that their advocacy should continue to identify and address root causes of these. “We should remain focused in our advocacy to change attitudes, cultural norms as well as legal, political and institutional barriers that are standing in the way of Africa’s transformation,” she added.
H.E. Mrs. Gertrude Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi and President of OAFLA reminded First Ladies that the theme of the Summit is most relevant to OAFLA as it provides a platform for strategic focus for the organization. “Today we have chosen to commemorate the 15 years of OAFLA work by focusing on ways of harnessing the demographic dividend of Africa. … The fight against AIDS need to divert more attention to young men and women, girls and boys who comprise a majority of our population in our respective countries.” She emphasised.
Witnessing OAFLA’s continued growth in terms of reach and impact during his tenure as Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), His Excellency Dr. Mustapha S. Kaloko, represented during the meeting by the Head of Health Nutrition and Population, Social Affairs said “I have seen that OAFLA is broadening its mandate to address Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and being an outspoken voice against child marriages. It is within the power of First Ladies as mothers of the nations to ensure that there are no new maternal, newborn and child deaths and to ensure that girls are not brides. The role of African First Ladies in Member States that have launched the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage has been significant to the point where these countries now have clearly defined national strategies and action plans to end the harmful practice of child marriage.”
Highlighting AU’s work in this regard, he recalled that AU launched the continent wide Campaign to End Child Marriage on 29 May 2014, with a focus on policy advocacy for the protection and promotion of human rights; accelerating change across the continent by encouraging African governments to develop strategies to raise awareness and address the harmful impact of child marriage as well as expediting and invigorating the movement to end the practice. He added: “This campaign is running concurrently with our flagship AU Campaign on the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) which many countries are implementing on the continent.”
During the one day open session meeting, Members of OAFLA reported to the Assembly on critical works performed, significant accomplishments and advocacy carried out in their respective countries.
Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director UNAIDS testified that OAFLA pushed to break the bureaucracy of silence, stigma and discrimination. He also acknowledged without efforts of OAFLA, the face of AIDS would have never changed. He called for continued support of the ‘START FREE, STAY FREE AND AIDS FREE’, a Super – Fast – Track framework and action plan that provides menu of policy and programmatic actions designed to enable countries to close the remaining HIV prevention and treatment gap for children, adolescents young women and expectant mothers.
The Assembly echoed the work OAFLA is entrusted with –namely, “An Africa free from HIV and AIDS, maternal, newborn and child mortality, an Africa where women adolescent girls, and children are empowered to enjoy equal opportunities. These goals are fundamental for achieving all the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063.
African First Ladies issued a Communique of the 18th OAFLA General Assembly.
The African Union, Mauritius and The African Union Foundation sign a Host Country Agreement for the Inaugural African Economic Platform
Addis Ababa, 31st January 2017: The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha signed a Host Country Agreement between the African Union Commission (AUC) The Republic of Mauritius, and The African Union Foundation (AUF) for the organisation of the inaugural African Economic Platform.
The host country Mauritius was represented by The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Hon. Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo and the AUF was represented Dr. Amany Asfour, Council Member of AUF and President of the Egyptian Business Women Association.
The inaugural African Economic Platform, is scheduled to take place in Port Louis from March 20-22 2017, and will institutionalise a new annual platform for African leaders and create an avenue for dialogue amongst a range of sectors, including the African political leadership, business leaders in the private sector and intellectuals. The Platform will bring together heads of state, business leaders, academics and young Africans to discuss the development of Africa as set out in Agenda 2063. Some of the key themes that will be tackled during the platform are industrialisation, intra-African trade, skills development as well as free movement of people and goods in the continent.
In her welcome remarks during the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said the African Economic Platform will allow governments to engage the business and academic sectors to close the gap between industry and education systems and that the strengthening of links between all sectors will help to eradicate the skills mismatch, stop graduate unemployment and address the shortages of engineers, agricultural scientists, biologists, geologists, and a host of other skills.
The Deputy Chairperson has been at the forefront of the organisation of the inaugural African Economic Platform. In February 2016, he concluded a three-day official mission to Mauritius and later led a delegation to Botswana in November, where he delivered a keynote speech at the World Federation of Development Finance Institution CEO’s Forum further emphasising the importance of this platform.
During the signing ceremony, the Deputy Chairperson thanked the Mauritian government for its commitment to the continent’s economic reform by hosting an initiative that is driven by Africans and will provide the policy space for Africans across all sectors to set their own agenda and further promote Africa’s integration and development.
Hon Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, said the signing ceremony marked the beginning of a journey towards the implementation of the process of industrialisation and economic transformation as reflected in both Africa’s Agenda 2063– The Africa We Want and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He noted that one of the core objectives of the Platform will be to work towards mobilizing appropriate resources by promoting ease of doing business in Africa, increasing investment attractiveness of the continent and facilitating the implementation of strategies for economic diversification and industrialization. He further extended a warm welcome to all participants who will be attending the inaugural African Economic Platform in March 2017.
Speaking on behalf of the AU Foundation, Dr. Amany Asfour said Africa has a great potential to be the richest continent in the world and that the AU Foundation’s role is to transform Africa through innovation by youth and women as part of Agenda 2063 which seeks to attain a powerful and all inclusive Africa. She said the African Economic Platform will prove that Africa has domestic funding and is able to transform African projects without relying on international donations.
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (30 January 2017) – At a time of historic progress toward a malaria-free Africa, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) honoured eight African countries that have shown commitment and innovation in the fight against the disease. Today at the 28th African Union Summit, the 2017 ALMA Awards for Excellence were awarded to:
• Botswana, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Swaziland and Uganda, for their impact on malaria incidence and mortality; and
• Chad, for its leadership in the fight against malaria.
“Thanks to strong African leadership and innovative new partnerships, we are making unprecedented progress in the fight against malaria,” said H.E Idriss Déby Itno, President of Chad and current Chairperson of the African Union. “The success of these countries shows the powerful impact that dedication and sufficient funding can have.”
Uganda achieved a more than 40 percent decrease in malaria incidence and malaria mortality from 2010 to 2015, according to the World Health Organization. This success was the result of a significant scaling up of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying as well as case management, including through public health facilities, the private sector and integrated community level activities. Uganda has secured a US$188 million commitment from the Global Fund for 2018 to 2020 for malaria, enabling the country to build upon its progress.
“Uganda’s commitment to fighting malaria is paying off,” said Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of ALMA. “The reduction in cases and deaths proves that persistence and leadership make a difference in the malaria fight.” The 2017 ALMA Awards for Excellence come just six months after the adoption of the ‘Catalytic Framework’ at the 27th African Union Summit last July. The framework provides a roadmap for African countries to increase domestic resources, expand the use of innovation and technology, and improve health infrastructure to eliminate malaria from the continent by 2030.
“Congratulations to Uganda,” said Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission. Further, he said, “I welcome ALMA’s continued partnership in the fight to end malaria. In this regard, the Catalytic Framework is providing strategic direction to guide countries to achieve malaria control and elimination.”
Since 2000, malaria mortality rates across the continent have fallen by 62 percent in all age groups and by 69 percent among children under five. The increase in those sleeping under long-lasting insecticidal nets, or protected by indoor residual spraying, as well as diagnostic testing of children and treatment of pregnant women has contributed to significantly lowering incidence and mortality in Africa. These achievements come at a time when African countries are providing more domestic funding to fight malaria.
The growing role of African leaders is also reflected in the recent formation of the End Malaria Council, a group of committed business and public sector leaders that has come together to ensure malaria eradication remains a global priority. Five of the nine leaders on the council are African: H.E Idriss Déby Itno, President of Chad; H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and former ALMA Chair; H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania and founding ALMA chair; Graça Machel, Founder of Foundation for Community Development; and Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group. The council will explore innovative approaches to mobilize political will and resources and develop new tools to help end malaria.
ALMA will also be working closely with the new Roll Back Malaria Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, former Minister of Health of Ethiopia.
Malaria remains a critical threat in Africa – the region still bears the highest global malaria burden. In 2015, 195 million of the 212 million new malaria cases and 394,000 of the world’s 429,000 malaria-related deaths were in Africa. About ALMA Founded in 2009, ALMA is a ground-breaking coalition of African Heads of State and Government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030. All African Union member countries are members of ALMA. The ALMA Scorecard for Accountability & Action is an important tool, which tracks progress and drives action.
The ALMA Awards for Excellence celebrate exemplary leadership in malaria control and elimination efforts. The Awards are chosen by an independent selection committee comprised of leaders and experts in the areas of health, academia and the private sector.
About the African Union The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission.
For more information, visit www.alma2030.org and www.au.int/ .