Across The Continent

African Union Summit Opens in Kigali, Rwanda

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27th AU Summit

The 32nd Ordinary Session of the PRC opens with a call for Solidarity, Pan-Africanism, Self-reliance and Independence for a United Africa

Kigali, Rwanda, 10 July 2016: The Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), officially opened today, 10 July 2016 at the Kigali Convention Center (KCC) in Rwanda in the presence of H.E Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, the AUC Commissioners, the Representatives of the host Government, the UNECA, Heads of AU Organs and Missions abroad, AUC Directors and Officials, the Media and invited guests.

Holding under the theme “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”, the 32nd Ordinary Session of the PRC opened with a call by H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for solidarity and self-reliance so as to “build an African Union of people”. The AUC Chairperson expressed satisfaction for the good working relationship between the PRC and the Commission and hoped that such cooperation will lead the continent to “The Africa We Want”. She further urged the Ambassadors to continue to work very closely with the AU Commission for the implementation of the development agenda for the continent.

While welcoming the delegates, the AUC Chairperson also expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Rwanda for the warm welcome extended to her and her delegation and for the good arrangements put in place to ensure a successful organization of the meetings. “It is always a pleasure to visit the city and to witness the changes, to see how progress is being made in transforming the lives of the African people. We thank the President, the Government of Rwanda and the People for their legendary hospitality and impeccable organization of this Summit.” The Chairperson further stressed on the symbolic importance for hosting a summit with particular focus on the rights of women in Rwanda, a country which she said, has done everything to make sure that women are treated as equal citizens, where men and women work side by side to ensure the progress of the country and of the continent.

“This Summit is an important milestone in our Union, as it will mark the end of the term of this Commission and the election of a new leadership” noted Dr. Dlamini Zuma. She highlighted that the Summit will provide an opportunity to reflect on the journey undertaken by the AUC leadership during the past four years of their mandate, and the role they have played in their respective functions towards taking forward the mission and the vision of the African Union with the view to build an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa, driven by its own people and playing a dynamic role in the world arena.
AUC Chairperson reiterated that the continental Organisation has abided by its mission which are informed by the core Pan African values that define the Union: unity, cooperation, solidarity and self-reliance as well as thinking and acting Pan African. “The issue of unity and cooperation remains critical for all the programmes and initiatives of Agenda 2063” underlined Dr. Dlamini Zuma. She added that, it would be difficult for Africa to move forward on the transport corridors that connect countries; on the regional energy pools that must power industries and homes; on free movement of people; on regional value chains in beneficiation and manufacturing, without cooperation amongst countries and with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
According to the AUC Chairperson, the Permanent Representative of Member States in Addis Ababa are in a unique position, as they are based in the capital of Africa, Addis Ababa where the Commission is headquartered, to advocate for that balance between the national interests and the continental common good. Moreover, the Agenda 2063 programmes and priorities also require a great amount of solidarity, to support initiatives.
H.E. Cherif Mahamat Zene, Chairperson of the PRC and Ambassador of the Republic of Chad to Ethiopia expressed his profound gratitude to the Government and people of Rwanda for their hospitality and for accepting to host the 27th AU Summit. He congratulated the Rwandan government for the progress made through national reconciliation after the 1994 genocide experience.
Amb. Cherif highlighted that the PRC meeting will consider issues related to the activities of the AU Commission including the AU budget for 2017. He commended the PRC Sub-Committee on Administrative, Budgetary and Financial Matters and the Staff of the AUC for preparing the budget in a bid to promote and enhance the efficiency of the Institution. The PRC Chairperson also mentioned that the meeting is expected to deliberate on the reports presented by the Representatives of AU Organs among others.
Amb. Cherif appealed to members of the PRC to be precise and prioritize the discussions to give more consideration to the most important items on the agenda so as to finalise the PRC report to be submitted to the Executive Council scheduled for the 13-14 July 2016 for their consideration and adoption. He called on his peers to reflect further on ways to strengthen the collaboration between the PRC and the Commission urging them to be realistic and action driven so that they can produce a constructive document that will further monitor progress by the Member States.
Representing the host Government at the opening ceremony, Amb. Jeannine Kambanda, Permanent Secretary, Rwanda Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, warmly welcomed all the delegates to Rwanda for the 27th AU Summit. She indicated that this Summit is a memorable for Rwandans, and that the people and Government of Rwanda are honored and thankful to the AUC for co-organising this important event. Amb. Kambanda underlined that this summit will help to further popularize the Africa Agenda 2063 to be assimilated by the people of Rwanda and beyond, therefore creating awareness on AU activities. She reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Rwandan to enhance integration within the continent as stipulated in Agenda 2063. She concluded by wishing the delegates a fruitful deliberation.
The PRC opening ceremony was marked by a minute of silence in memory of the loss of the Director and Ag. Director of the AUC Strategic Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Resource Mobilization (SPPMERM).
Journalists wishing to interview the leadership of the AU Commission during the Summit should submit their requests to Mrs Esther Azaa Tankou, Ag. Director of Information and Communication of the AUC, via E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]
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For further information:
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: [email protected] I Website: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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