The African Union met today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 32nd Ordinary Session.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s tenure as head of the African Union (AU) comes to a close today as the position passes to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt, during the 32nd Ordinary Session of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Addressing the assembly for the first time in his new role, Sisi strengthened his commitment to the African Union and thanked the outgoing Chairperson for successes in reforming how the body is funded.
“Egypt will spare no effort in moving forward on this path of institutional financial reform,” he said.
The president reminded dignitaries about Egypt’s role in the pan-African agenda by referencing Cairo as a historical base for African independence movements fighting against colonialisation.
Under his stewardship, the Egyptian president hopes to improve post-conflict development on the continent and is pushing for the establishment of an AU Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Cairo.
Only through wide-scale collaborative action will Africa reach its developmental goals, he said.
“In our division lies our weakness and in our unity Africa can become one of the superpowers in the world.”
Kagame leaves the legacy of boosting institutional and operational capacity as he steps down to a lesser-executive role representing East Africa.
“It was necessary to strengthen the AU capability to fulfil our political objectives,” he stated. “We require an organisation which is agile, healthy and effective.”
He praised the human talent throughout the organs of the AU which made the reforms possible, calling the commissioners “world class”.
Other commendations include concrete steps taken towards integration like the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the Free Movement Protocol.
While neither has been fully implemented, both initiatives gained significant ground since Kagame took charge one year ago.