African Union : 32nd SUMMIT OPENS TODAY

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres speaks at the " African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia." Photo : AP

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Virtually all of the 55 African heads of State and governments as well as the UN Secretary General are in Addis Ababa as the 32nd Session of the AU leaders kicks off this Sunday morning.

The summit officially opens this Sunday morning behind closed doors with outgoing President Paul Kagamé presenting his year-long stewardship at the helm of the Union.

An afternoon session would include plenary discussion of major issues and events of prime concern to the development agenda of the African Union.

Sources told ADV that a tripartite meeting would be held on the sidelines on Sunday between the heads of state of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to be followed by a press conference.

Shortly before the imperial dinner that was prodigally thrown by Ethiopian host and Premier Abiy Ahmed; diplomatic sources told ADV that President Sisi would meet President Felix Tshisekedi, and the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres.

Early on the second and final day of the Summit; Rwanda’s President Paul Kagamé will hand over the leadership of the Union to his Egyptian counterpart Fatah al-Sisi for another year.

This is the fourth Egyptian chairmanship of the union after it was once chaired by late President Gamal Abdel Nasser and headed twice by late President Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat.

Egypt, Angola, South Africa, Algeria, and Nigeria are the top contributors to the union’s budget. Egypt’s share is 12 percent.

This year’s theme was tailored from the tragedy of thousands of dead illegal emigrants and neatly summarized as: “Refugee, Returnees and  Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.”

At the end of the A.U. Ministerial Council meeting on Friday, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki expressed the hope that a serious response could emanate from the Heads of State and governments summit.

© Bur-csa – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng