29 January 2016

President Kagame today attended the official opening of the 26th African Union Summit.

The summit began with a closed session of Heads of States and Government during which key topics discussed included governance across the continent and financing of the African Union.

The opening ceremony saw President Mugabe pass on the chairmanship of the African Union to President Deby of Chad while President Kagame was elected Vice Chair alongside President Mugabe, President Yayi Bony, and Vice President of Parliament of Libya Hon. Hamida Homa.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairperson Dr. Dlamini Zuma called on leaders to work towards ensuring Africa lives up to its full potential of prosperity for all:

“We came to the conclusion that indeed the Africa we have is rich, but the paradox is that the majority of African people are poor. We must therefore resolve this ironic paradox that deprives us from creating wealth and shared prosperity. Unlike other regions, Africa has the human and other resources to leapfrog development at a much faster pace. “

“Through renewed commitment to the beloved continent, fifty years after the birth of the OAU, we affirmed our determination to ‎‎build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven and managed by its own citizens‎ and representing a dynamic force in the international arena. By adopting Agenda 2063, we pledged to act to change the present, and build the Africa we want. It is our generation’s mission to ensure that we build a rich Africa, with prosperous people,” Dr. Dlamini Zuma added.

In his outgoing speech, President Mugabe urged leaders to stand for a more self determined Africa and recognition of Africa’s voice on the global stage. President Mugabe called for the reform of the United Nations describing it as an institution where members are not equal.

“If the UN is to survive, we must be equal members of it.” President Mugabe said.

President Kagame ended the day with a bilateral meeting with United Nations Secretary General.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame attended the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS. The two day meeting is themed “Advancing Sustainable Partnerships to end pediatric AIDS and improve Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.”

The 26th African Union Summit was themed the Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the rights of Women and Girls.

President Kagame will today be hosting the 3rd session Smart Africa Board Meeting to discuss the progress of the Smart Africa Initiative in member countries. Member countries include Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda as well as

The next African Union summit will be hosted in Rwanda in July 2016.

For pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/albums/72157663899289452