The 31st AU Summit has officially kicked off with at least 30 heads of state present committing to strengthen development in ending the war on corruption in Africa, in line with its’ theme sustainable development to Africa.
While addressing the opening ceremony in Nouakchott, Mauritania, African Union Chair Moussa Faki noted that corruption thrives in the face of the continent and African nations must all come together to slay this dragon once and for all.
Part of the agenda of the summit was to push for the continental free trade area at the summit and according to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame who also gave an opening speech was that “The agreement is well on its way to entering into force. From that point forward, Africa will necessarily engage with partners as a bloc,says Kagame
Sentiments echoed by Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed
“The continental Free Trade area is a vital step that will unleash trade and innovation to benefit millions”
The renewal of Africa’s relationship with the European Union was also put forth as the African Union’s position seeks to reflect the need to modernise and expand the terms of partnership.
“And I see a determination to build accountable institutions that serve Africa’s people. The African Anti-corruption year is a welcome initiative to crack down on bribery, fraud ,tax evasion, illegal mining and other illicit acts that drain billions of dollars from Africa every year and undermine trust in global governance sadly impacting investments that could undermine growth of African economies”, remarked Amina Mohammed
Following several attacks that have sent shortwaves to Africa barely two weeks before the AU summit and with the campaign to silence guns 2020 still in place, AU chairperson revealed that it was a race against time for Africa to stop conflict on the continent.This together with a clarion call to strengthen support for Africa peace efforts including AMISOM,the G5 Sahel Joint Force and the Multinational joint task force against Boko Haram.
“Here in Mauritania we are announcing a re-calibrated strategy for the Sahel and a new effort to mobilize resources.The recently finalized UN Support for Sahel is repositioned to channel resources towards interventionist that meet the needs and priorities of the Sahelian people.
The UN further showed its commitment to the project noting that in the coming days they will be undertaking a joint mission to Chad, Niger and South Sudan.
African Union has also welcomed the Khartoum Declaration agreement and has hailed the mediation of the IGAD mandated heads of state. Parties are been asked to fully abide by the agreements.