The 32rd ordinary session of the African Union Heads and State and Government Assembly as kicked-off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the Egypt President, Fattah Al-Sisi taking over as chair of the continental body.
Mr Al-Sisi, who is succeeding Rwandan leader, Mr Paul Kagame is later this afternoon expected to address African leaders, who include Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The AU chairmanship, a one year term, rotates between the five regions of the continent and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa will take over from Mr El-Sisi in 2020.
This year’s summit is expected to focus on institutional reforms, and the establishment of a continent-wide free trade zone.
The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was agreed by 44 nations in March 2018, but only 19 countries have ratified the agreement, with 22 needed for it to come into effect.
The single market is a flagship of the AU’s “Agenda 2063” programme, conceived as a strategic framework for socioeconomic transformation.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guteress has asked Western nations to emulate Africa and open their borders to migrants and refugees.
The UN chief, who is in Ethiopia, held a meeting with AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and pledged to support Africa’s peace efforts as one way of stemming displacements on the continent.
He welcomed the South Sudan and Central African peace agreements, as well the restoration of relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
more recommended stories
Former Senegal President Calls on Citizens to Burn Voter Cards and Attack Polling Stations
Senegal’s government has condemned calls for.
Buhari’s use of state resources and infrastructure to campaign for re-election; unfair advantage over opposition
Millions had waited in anticipation for.
Watch Live: Buhari address the nation
Watch Live President Buhari address the.
Nigerian Election : Atiku and Buhari pitch for votes on Twitter
NIGERIA : The two main candidates.