AU Summit a watershed in youth empowerment, says CS Amina

The 29th Ordinary Summit of the African Union which kicks off Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, marks a significant milestone in empowering the continent’s youth and in securing Africa’s future, according to Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

Ms Mohamed, who spoke in Ethiopia’s capital ahead of the summit, will represent President Uhuru Kenyatta, said a communication from issued from Addis Ababa.
The ordinary summit convenes under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth.’’

Said the CS: “The theme of the Summit is expected to marshal and reinforce the commitment of African leaders, and all stakeholders, towards implementing policies and programs that will empower the youth in Africa.”

The objectives of the summit’s theme, she added, is to help in fast-tracking implementation of demographic dividend initiatives in Africa, and ” to adopt a roadmap with key deliverables and milestones to guide member states on concrete actions to be undertaken in 2017 and beyond.”

Ms Mohamed said the African Union has developed a demographic dividend roadmap that member states are expected to domesticate.

African Union’s roadmap focuses on four key thematic pillars namely; health and wellbeing, education and skills development, employment and entrepreneurship, and governance.

The CS who is expected to outline Kenya’s commitments and experience in regard to this agenda, said Kenya has already developed a demographic dividend roadmap which domesticates the African Union roadmap and ties in well with the Vision 2030 development blue print.

The debate on the theme will be preceded by a presentation by President Idriss Deby of Chad who will moderate the session on the theme.

The Summit will deliberate on other key issues including the Report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa as well as the Report by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on the institutional reform of the AU.

Also to be reviewed will be the report on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which will be presented by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger. The report will update on the state of play in the on-going negotiations on the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

The review of a report on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council, and the report on the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa which will be presented by President’s Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Abdel Bouteflika of Algeria, respectively, are on the agenda.

“The Assembly is expected to appoint key officials elected during the 31st Session of the Executive Council, among them Four Members of the AU Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) and Four Members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” said Ms Mohamed.

The Summit, which will be opened by Mr Alpha Conde, President of Guinea and Chair of the African Union, will also be addressed by Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, and Mr Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States.

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