African Union

Rwanda was elected to lead the African Union at the just ended 29th ordinary session of its Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, took to Twitter to make the announcement. Her tweet read:

“African Union Summit now in closing; among many decisions, Rwanda elected to lead the Union in 2018. We are honored and express appreciation!”

Rwanda will take over leadership from Guinea on January 30, 2018. The President of Rwanda will replace President Alpha Condé of Guinea for a period of one year. It will be the first time Rwanda will have assumed the position at the Union since its change from the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union in 2001.

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President Paul Kagame on Monday presented the summit which was themed: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth,” with a report on the implementation of the AU institutional reforms.

He warned that certain aspects of the reforms could cause discomfort among some external partners as it challenges some of their interests as the continent seeks to become more independent.

His Foreign Minister said that there is steady progress on the proposed reforms, adding that more than 10 countries are already implementing the January 2018 self-financing scheme.

At the closure of the session, the African Union Chairperson, President Alpha Condé, urged Africa to consult regularly and to speak with one voice. Condé said there is need to jointly address issues such as terrorism and migration which he said take Africa’s vital resource, the youth, out of the continent.

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The closing ceremony featured the swearing in of two senior AU officials: the commissioner for economic affairs (from Madagascar) and the commissioner for human resource, science, and technology (from Cameroon) who will serve four-year-terms.