SOUTH AFRICAN PR OPENS AU SUMMIT TO HIGHLIGHT AFRICAN UNITY IN PANDEMIC RESPONSE – OBSERVER

The outgoing President of the African Union (AU), Cyril Ramaphosa, this Saturday underlined the unity of the continent in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that he has it, as well as the partners of the organization, for the “gigantic task” of vaccination.

Speaking at the opening of the annual AU summit, the President of South Africa recalled the global commitment to the “unprecedented fight” against the pandemic, which “has caused great suffering and hardships “on the African continent,” worsened global inequalities “and” threatened to halt progress “towards achieving the sustainable development goals.

“Despite the convulsion caused by this disease, our response as a continent has been one of partnership, resilience, innovation and sharing of strategies and resources. The people of this continent have proven to be versatile and agile, ”he said in a speech by the South African Presidency.

For Cyril Ramaphosa, the pandemic has demonstrated the “importance and value” of the African Union, whose structures have made it possible “to lead a collective response”, “to mobilize resources for the benefit of all” and for “qu ‘no country is left behind’.

“As we prepare for the enormous task of vaccinating our populations against covid-19, we count on the AU and its partners for the assistance and support we need,” he said.

Cyril Ramaphosa also underlined that, despite the “monumental struggle” against covid-19, it was possible to launch the agreement for the creation of the African continental free trade area, which opens up “great opportunities” for “the growth, development and prosperity “.

The South African official also spoke of “progress in bringing peace and stability to parts of the continent that have long been plagued by conflict”, but admitted that “there is still a long way to go to achieve this. silence the guns “in Africa, affirming” the determination and capacity of the AU to achieve this.

The AU annual summit takes place today and Sunday in virtual format, with an agenda marked by the fight against Covid-19, the election of the organization’s new executive leadership for the next four years and the transition of the organization’s rotating presidency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, former Prime Minister and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad, is the only candidate for his own succession as head of the executive body of the African Union.

However, he will need to get two-thirds of the vote and overcome accusations, which he rejects, of a “culture of sexual harassment, corruption and intimidation within the commission,” according to a recent report by the International Crisis Group. (ICG). If he does not get the necessary support, he will allow the AU to open the seat to other candidates.

The African Union was created on July 11, 2000 to replace the Organization of African Unity (OAU), founded on May 25, 1963, and currently brings together 55 member states, including Portuguese-speaking Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Source: galusaustralis.com

Source: Angola Press News Agency

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