Here are the key outcomes (unofficial) of the just-ended summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa 8 – 10 February 2020. While the theme of the year 2020 is “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”, no concrete decision has been taken on the matter besides the acknowledgment of the Orientation Concept Note on the theme and a request by the Assembly of the Union for a comprehensive report on the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap at the end of the year. South Africa offered to host an extraordinary Summit end of May 2020 on Silencing the Guns. In my last blog, I have suggested 7 prerequisites for the guns to be silenced in Africa.
Chairperson of the African Union for 2020: President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa
Chairperson of the African Union for 2021: President Felix Tshisekedi of DRC
Chairperson of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee HSGOC: President Paul Kagame, of Rwanda elected to replace President Macky Sall of Senegal
AU Champion for Financial Institutions: President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, to provide political leadership and awareness to accelerate their establishment as scheduled in the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
2/ INSTITUTIONAL REFORM OF THE AFRICAN UNION
- AU Commission to submit to the 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly (Feb 2021), after due consideration by the Executive Council, practical proposals for rationalizing the Agenda and the Program of Work of the Assembly, as well as streamlining the program of meetings and side events. of the Assembly and the Executive Council.
- The Executive Council (Ministers of Foreign Affairs) has a delegated authority to consider and adopt provisionally the Rules of Procedures of the Assembly and the Statute of the Commission during its 37th Ordinary Session in June/July 2020;
- The Protocol on the Relations between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is adopted and the Chairperson of the Commission authorized to sign the Protocol on behalf of the African Union;
- The following eminent Persons have been appointed to assist for the AU Senior Leadership job profiles, competency requirements and assessment process: a) Central Africa: H.E Yang Philemon (Cameroon) b) East Africa: Amb. Konjit Sinegiorgis (Ethiopia) c) Southern Africa: Amb. Tuliameni Kalomoh (Namibia) d) West Africa: Hon. Hassan Bubacar Jallow (The Gambia). North Africa to nominate 1 representative to join the group.
Read my previous articles on the AU Reform here.
New Structures of the following organs have been adopted:
- African Union Commission Departmental Structure;
- Continental Operational Centre – (Khartoum);
- African Centre for the Study and Research on Migration – (Mali);
- African Migration Observatory (the Observatory) – (Morocco);
- African Union Mechanism For Police Cooperation (Afripol) – (Algeria);
- AU Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUCPCRD) – (Egypt);
- Secretariat of African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) – (Lesotho);
- African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) – (Equatorial Guinea).
The Executive Council got delegated authority to appoint (not only to elect) members of the following AU Organs and Institutions:
- African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child;
- African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- African Union Advisory Board on Corruption;
- African Union Commission on International Law;
- President and Vice President of the Pan African University; and
- African Space Agency.
3/ AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AfCFTA)
- Mr. Wamkele Mene (South Africa) is appointed as Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area for a four-year term. The Permanent Secretariat of the AfCFTA to start operating by 31 March 2020
- AfCFTA Council of Ministers to have an Extraordinary Summit on 30 May 2020 to approve all instruments required for the start of trading under the AfCFTA on 1 July 2020. South Africa to host the Summit
- 6 Countries that made reservations (Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) decided to “compromise their national interests in the interest and solidarity of the African continent to join the rest of the States Parties in implementing the modalities on tariff liberalization”.
- AfCFTA shall not accept requests for observer status from States that are not Member States of the African Union
4/ LEGAL INSTRUMENTS & ELECTION
The following Legal Instruments have been adopted:
- Statute of the African Peer Review Mechanism;
- Rules of Procedure of the Heads of State and Government of Participating States of the African Peer Review Mechanism;
- Protocol on Relations between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities;
- Rules of Procedures of the Mid-Year Coordination Meeting;
- Statute for the Establishment of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Migration;
- Statute for the Establishment of African Migration Observatory;
- Statute for the Establishment of Continental Operational Centre in Sudan for Combating Irregular Migration.
The following 10 Members have been elected for the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union for a 2-year term starting from April 2020:
- Cameroon: Central
- Chad: Central
- Djibouti: Eastern
- Ethiopia: Eastern
- Egypt: Northern
- Malawi: Southern
- Mozambique: Southern
- Benin: Western
- Ghana: Western
- Senegal: Western
The New PSC (from 1st April 2020) will be composed of: Algeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Senegal.
- 34th AU Summit: 6 & 7 February 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- 38th Session of the Executive Council: 3 & 4 February 2021 in Addis Ababa
- Extraordinary Summit of Silencing the Guns: May 2020 in South Africa
- Extraordinary Summit on AfCFTA: 30 May 2020, in South Africa
- 37th Session of the Executive Council: July 2020, N’Djamena, Chad
- Next Mid-Year Coordination Meeting between the AU and the RECs: 4 July 2020 in N’Djamena, Chad. AU Commission to consult with the RECs, Regional Mechanisms and Member States with a view to finalize the detailed proposal for an effective division of labor between the AU and RECs and present it to the 2020 Mid-Year Coordination meeting, after due consideration by the 37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council.
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