AU Assembly Outlines Priorities for 2022 and Prepares for COP27
The 35th Ordinary session of the Assembly of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government convened on 2-6 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Summit facilitated discussions about the continent’s priorities for the year ahead and saw Senegal taking over the chair of the AU.
In his opening address, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, gave an overview of the AU’s state and noted that there is an increased interest in the continent. He called for the Union to revisit its approach to partnerships to ensure that all partnerships focus on concrete, transformative and integrated mega projects in the five priority areas of peace and security, infrastructure and energy, climate change, innovative development financing, and training youth and women’s empowerment.
Senegal takes over as new Chairperson of AU
The rotating leadership of the Union was handed over from H.E. President Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo to President Macky Sall of Senegal during a hand over ceremony on Saturday 5 February.
In his acceptance speech, President Sall said he appreciates the honor coupled with the responsibility and assured he is committed to working together with all member countries. As the AU is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Sall noted: “We can be proud of the progress made under major initiatives such as NEPAD, PIDA, APRM, Vision 2063, institutional reform, the Great Green Wall, the AfCFTA and more recently our coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
On 6 February, the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) convened to discuss the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow and their implications for Africa, and how to prepare for the COP27 in Egypt.
H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, who takes over as the coordinator of CAHOSCC, underlined the need to focus on drumming up support for African priorities at COP27. He mentioned climate finance, loss and damage, global goals on adaptation, keeping the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal alive as well as recognition of the special needs and circumstances for Africa. He called for a Climate Summit in Egypt ahead of COP27 to ensure that Africa stands united and speaks with one voice.