Egypt’s Sisi to travel to Ethiopia on Saturday to assume 2019 AU chairmanship

File Photo: Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: Ahram)

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday in an official visit for an African Union (AU) summit where he will assume the 2019 chairmanship of the body.

In a statement on Friday, the Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady explained that El-Sisi will take over as chairman on Sunday prior to the 32nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Rady said it is the first time an Egyptian leader has chaired the AU since it was established in 2002.

He said that the chairmanship is a coronation of Egyptian efforts led by the president in the last few years to boost relations with the African states on both the bilateral and multilateral levels; and a restoration of Egypt’s pivotal role in the continent, since Egypt was one of the founding countries of the Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor, in the 1960s.

The spokesman said Sunday’s summit will be held under the theme of “Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced People,” which he said was chosen due to Africa’s efforts to stem influx of returnees and refugees and a rise in human trafficking.

The summit will also see discussions related to issues on sustainable development that fall under the AU’s 2063 Agenda; regional integration and complementarity through developing the continent’s infrastructure and the continental connectivity projects; and efforts to activate Africa’s free zone.

The summit will also discuss coordinating with international financing corporations and strategic partners of the continent to mobilise fund and support needed for Africa’s development, while also pushing efforts to formulate innovative solutions to overcome the negative impact of the climate change phenomena.

Health, education, innovation, and localising technology will also be discussed, Rady explained.

The African leaders will also review the efforts of reviving African policy for reconstruction and development in post-conflict phases, as well as activities on combating terrorism and extremism in the continent. 

Talks on security and safety in the continent, including the intensive endeavours to resolve conflicts in notable hotbeds in the region, and on the implementation of the AU’s “Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020” decision are on the agenda, Rady added.

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