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AU Heads of State, Govt outline African priorities for 2022

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The Assembly of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government on Sunday ended its 35th ordinary session, outlining African priorities for 2022 and beyond.

The two-day summit, which followed a hiatus in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was marked with calls for continued African solidarity in addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the continent.

They stressed the urgent need to address the emerging scourge of unconstitutional changes of governments and the scourge of terrorism across the continent.

Under the theme of “Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent: Accelerate the Human Capital, Social and Economic Development”.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, took over the one-year term rotating AU chairmanship from President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Felix Tshisekedi emphasised the need to exert concerted efforts in responding to continental threats such as instability, climate change and the devastating impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to focus our attention on building our countries and also ensuring continental integration; and there cannot be development and integration, where there is no peace, no security and no stability,” the Senegalese president said.

Sall called for continental togetherness in achieving the major aspiration of the continental 50-year development Agenda 2063.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the AU Commission, emphasized the 35th ordinary session was a “fruitful” meeting, which came as the continent is facing “many challenges”.

Mahamat gave a broad overview of the state of the Union to African leaders, touching on issues related to health, governance, peace and security amongst others and the actions taken by the AU and its member states to address issues of regional importance.

Addressing the summit via video link, Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN).

On Saturday said the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s Agenda 2063 was the cornerstone of the relationship between the two organisations.

Guterres took a swipe at the global financial system that has “abandoned African countries,” describing it as “morally decadent.”

He further assured African leaders that the UN would support Africa in its COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, whose country hosts the AU Headquarters, when addressing African leaders, took exception to the fact that seven decades after the formation of the UN.

Africa remained a junior partner without meaningful input or role in the system of international governance.

He singled out the UN Security Council, where Africa lacks representation and called for reform of the UN to reflect current global realities with equitable representation.

He called for the establishment of an AU continental media house, to provide authoritative news and information, fight disinformation, promote the African collective agenda and strengthen Africa’s voice across the world.

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Cecilia Odey

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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