Scores of African heads of state and government attended the ceremonial start of the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, on Saturday.
Azali Assoumani, the president of Comoros and the new chairwoman of the AU Commission, began the summit by urging delegates to join Turkey and Syria in observing a minute of sorrow for the earthquake victims.
In his statement, Assoumani emphasised the need of African countries working together to promote peace and prosperity through the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in his address that Africa need action. First, there is economic action. Africa has a lot of potential, but it doesn’t have a lot of global backing.
“Investing in Africa’s prosperity necessitates finance, and developing countries are routinely left in the dark, as the global financial system routinely denies them debt relief and concessional financing while charging extortionate interest rates,” Guterres said, adding that the UN has issued a new call to radically transform the global financing architecture in this regard.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, for his part, praised the Pretoria Peace Agreement, which ended the battle between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).
Abiy urged African nations to go beyond “African answers to African challenges.”
Kenyan President William Ruto underlined the need of illness prevention and a proactive approach to the production of vaccinations and medical supplies.
Security, food problems, and other political and socioeconomic issues affecting the continent will also be addressed at the summit.