BY. DR JOSEPH AMEEN (A former Councellor of Egypt Embassy in Tokyo ,PhD. in Political Sciences and African Study)
The 28th Ordinary Session of the AU Summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 30-31 Jan., 2017 under the theme of “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth“. Participants included delegations from about 48 African countries represented by nearly 33 Heads of States and Governments and many other special regional and international invitees, most notably Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The summit was held amid many challenges facing the African Union, with the major powers, especially former colonial powers such as France, to promote their interests in the face of the influence of the United States and other emerging countries such as Japan,China, Russia, Brazil and India Turkey, Iran, Malaysia and the Gulf states competing for their interests in the continent that is rich of natural resources as well as the large markets and investment opportunities.
The participants discussed a large number of issues including crises facing the African continent. That included the Libya which is becaming a failed state divided due to the infighting among local factions, with the western countries feeding a proxy war there. Other crisis is the fight against terrorism and the situation in southern Sudan and Gambia.
Leaders also discussed a report submitted by the Egyptian president, “Abdel Fattah al-Sisi” on the climate change.
The participants also focused on partnerships, cooperation and exchange between Africa Union and the similar world organizations, as well as the development agenda and how to fully take advantage of the natural resources and to enhance the development of the continent.
The 28th AU summit:
– adopted the report, prepared by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kegame, about the development of the African Union.
– elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, as the new Chairperson of the African Union(AU).
– agreed to Morocco‘s readmission to AU.
– signed the African Convention to fight corruption
– African leaders acknowledged recommendations for institutional reform of the African Union, in addition to the special report about the peace and security activities in the AU.
– African leaders also adopted the African Peer Review Mechanism, which was part of the NEPAD initiative before it was integrated into the African Union in 2014 Report.
– AU ministers decided the mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
The 28th African Summit has established several pillars for both Arabs and Africans, especially in their foreign policies, as they realized the need for the continued presence and participation in this event.
Morocco’s readmission to AU, 32 years since it left it, is considered as the most prominent successes of the AU. The great importance of this summit is its strong call for unity to maintain peace and stability in the continent.
DR. JOSEPH AMEEN:
PhD. in Political Sciences and African Study
Councellor of Egypt Embassy in Tokyo from 2012-2014.