African Union (AU) Summit opens with focus on anti-corruption

The 30th Heads of State and Government Summit of the African Union (AU) opened on Sunday in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa under the theme of anti-corruption.

The 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of AU, as part of the ongoing 30th AU Summit held from 22 – 29 January, brings together Heads of State and Government from AU member states, officials of the AU, representatives from partner organizations, diplomatic corps and other invited guests.

The summit held at the AU headquarters started with a closed session, followed by the official opening ceremony.

They are also scheduled to deliberate on the progress of the implementation of Agenda 2063, a development blueprint for Africa.

South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Addis Ababa on Saturday ahead of the two-day AU Summit scheduled to end on Monday.

The theme of this year’s AU summit is: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. The theme presents a unique opportunity to reflect on and address specific challenges related to the fight against corruption on the Continent.

The AU Summit is expected to deliberate on a number of issues, including institutional reforms of the AU, continental free trade and the state of peace and security on the continent.

The issues of the institutional reform of the AU, the Continental Free Trade Area, the composition of the Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU and the election of the new chairperson of the pan-African regional bloc were on the agenda of the session, according to the AU's daft agenda.

The African Heads of State and Government are expected to deliberate on the different items at the summit, including the consideration of the report of the Executive Council of the AU, the annual report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the report on the implementation of the Assembly declarations including that on the Single African Air Transport Market.

South Africa, in its capacity as Chair of SADC, has been mandated to present the SADC common position on the AU Institutional Reforms as adopted by the 37th SADC Summit in August 2017.

The Report of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on its activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa is a standard item on the agenda of the Assembly.

According to the Presidency, the report provides a summary of key meetings and activities of the PSC since the Summit in July 2017.

Some of the countries under consideration include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya, Mali and the Sahel, Somalia, South Sudan and Western Sahara.

The Assembly will also consider the Report of the PSC on the Implementation of the Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the Year 2020.

It is also expected that the 36th Session of the NEPAD HSGOC will convene on the margins of the summit. President Zuma will also participate in the session.

The President is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi; Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi and the Minister of State Security, Adv Bongani Bongo.

– SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua