By: Paul OLELE
The 33rd African Union summit, which were held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recently concluded earlier this week. The summit brought all 55 member states together to discuss major issues that currently affect the African continent.
The theme of the event was “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.” The subject matter of the event planned to accomplish the propositions stated in Africa’s agenda 2063, especially aspiration 4, which calls for unity and solidarity amongst all African nations.
In attendance were the presidents of African nations, government officials, as well as representatives from United Nations. The U.N secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed the all African nations by reminding them about the importance of a partnership with the African Union and the United Nations.
Guterres highlighted that the African continent needed to make more progress towards fighting poverty through the decade of action, which would help to produce sustainable development goals.
The recent push for sustainable development in Africa has shown some positive results. It has raised the living standards and provided people with better access to education. Although, Gutteres asserts that Africa can do much better.
“but progress remains show and uneven when it comes to ending poverty and ending education,” Gutteres said.
As for silencing the big guns, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that he would be taking over from the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi, as the A.U chair. His plan is to organize two summits in May, which would focus on ending conflicts in Africa and also execute the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Ramaphosa added that the summit on conflict resolution would address the ongoing problems in South Sudan and Libya. Efforts have already been made by the South African President, as he met with the Sudanese President, Saliva Kiir and Rebel Leader, Riek Machar, on Saturday night to not only talk about deescalating tensions, but to also form a power sharing government in the country.
On the conflict in Libya, the A.U leadership are faced with a big challenge of restoring peace in Libya. The country has been at war since the Arab spring uprising in 2011, which ousted dictator, Moamar Gadafi.
Currently, Libya is spilt into two regions, the eastern region, which is controlled by Khalifa Haftar, Libyan military commander, and the government in Tripoli, which is recognized by the U.N as its legitimate government.
H.E Smail Chergui, an Algerian Diplomat stated that the A.U would support peace if a cessation of hostilities agreement to honor both parties
Claudia Gazzini form the International Crisis Group think tank asserted that the A.U must do a better job in order to ensure peace on the continent.
“The AU bandwidth on Libya cannot in anyway be compared to the UN’s involvement, just in simple terms of knowledge and presence on the ground,” Gazzini said.