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Official: Rwanda’s President Kagame Takes Over As AU Chairman

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame on Sunday took over the Chairmanship of the African Union at the 30th AU summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

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Mr. Kagame takes over chairmanship from Guinea’s President Alpha Conde. He will lead the Union for one year.

In his acceptance speech, Kagame called on African countries to unite, create a single continental market, integrate infrastructure and infuse economies with technology.

In order to meet his objectives, Kagame urged African leaders to support him.

“Thank you for your double trust. First as the leader of the reform process now as the chairperson of our union.” Kagame said. “I promise to do the best job I can. But I will need your full support.”

Kagame hopes to see the Union self-funded after a decision was adopted that all member states implement a 0.2 per cent levy on eligible imports to finance the African Union.

Kagame also said AU’s flagship initiatives, such as Agenda 2063, have tremendous value.

Africa is “nearly ready” to adopt the Continental Free Trade Area, said the new chairperson. “It really needs to be done this year.” Xinhua reports.

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