South Africa takes over chairpersonship of the African Union

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to ensuring peace and security on the continent. He was speaking at the African Union (AU) after taking over the chairpersonship at the 33rd session of the African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Ramaphosa announced that in May this year, South Africa will convene an extraordinary summit on “Silencing the Guns” and to assess the progress made to end conflicts.  He says the conflicts in Libya and South Sudan are pressing issues.
“We will work with President Deni Sassa Ngeuesso in his capacity as the Chairperson of the AU High Level Committee on Libya to convene an intra-Libyan conference to promote ceasefire and dialogue. We will continue to work with the parties in South Sudan with a view to implementing the outstanding issues of the revitalized agreement in order to pave the way for the government of national unity,” says Ramaphosa.
President Ramaphosa also said South Africa will host the Extra-Ordinary Summit on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area to be held back to back with the extra ordinary summit on “Silencing of the guns”.
“Working closely with President Mahamadou Issofou of Niger in his capacity as the AU Champion on the AfCFTA, we will work for the finalization of outstanding issues around the agreement,” he said.
“We must all ensure that the AfCFTA does not become a conduit for products with minimal African value addition to enter and penetrate our local markets under the guise of continental integration, there must be a resonabale standard set for what constitutes a product that is “Proudly made in Africa”, said the incoming Chairperson.
Earlier, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt handed over the chairpersonship of the continental body to President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Opening Session of the AU Assembly.
The African Union Summit is currently ongoing in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, with heads of state across the African continent in attendance.
Amongst the guests in attendance is United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Canadian President Justin Trudeau.