Addis Ababa, 25 May 2013
President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame today joined over 70 Heads of States and Government for the 50th Anniversary of the African Union themed “Panafricanism and African Renaissance.” Leaders from both member states and non-member states will gather in Addis Ababa to celebrate Africa’s achievements, elaborate solutions to common challenges and renew their commitment to the founding values of the African Union.
Minister Louise Mushikiwabo stressed the importance of acknowledging the progress of the past decades while finding common solutions to challenges that remain ahead:
“At the 50 year line, we do not just celebrate we reflect on the road travelled and the long way still ahead. This African Day is about us leaders pledging to expedite the well being of our citizens and increase dialogue with our global partners in order to have a truly dignified and liberated Africa.”
Today’s ceremony began with an interactive debate on Panafricanism and African Renaissance during which academics and heads of states looked back on the 50 year journey of the African Union and reiterated the need to accelerate continental integration and fulfill the vision of a unite and prosperous Africa set out fifty years ago.
Concluding the session, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn emphasized the need for African leaders to sustain the socio-economic transformation taking place throughout the continent:
“We need to claim the narrative of our future. We have turned a corner, it is up to us to capitalize on this.”
The 50th Anniversary of the AU/OAU will be followed by the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held from the 26th-27th May during which heads of states will adopt the Proclamation on the 50th Anniversary of the OAU/AU. This unique proclamation will set objectives for the next fifty years of the African Union.
Other notable highlights include an address by newly elected President of Kenya, Uighur Kenyatta and presentation of reports by the Peace and Security Council on the State of Peace and Security in Africa, a report on alternatives sources of funding for the African Union presented by former Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo and a report of the Commission on the Post 2015 development Agenda. The summit will also provide an opportunity to the United Nations Secretary General and the eleven countries signatories to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC to evaluate progress achieved in the implementation of a regional solution.
The Organization of the African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS will also hold their annual general assembly during which they will elect a successor to the current president of OFLA and First Lady of Namibia Penehupifo Pohamba.