The Foreign Minister of Liberia, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. has underscored the need for an urgent institutional reform at the AU, given the role the organization is expected to play in driving the vision of inclusive economic growth and development Africa.
Minister Kemayah said Africa needs a commission that will transition to a high performing, efficient and effective organization that is able to deliver on agreed continental priorities and attract and retain the best quality staff at all levels, noting that a strong accountability and performance based framework cannot be overly emphasized.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Ambassador Kemayah made these remarks on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at the 38th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, via videoconference.
“Let me pay special tribute to the Chairperson of the AU, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahammat for his keenness and dedication to the work of our Union, and for his intuitive leadership character which continues to keep the AU focused on its objectives in the face of daunting challenges.
“This session is taking place at a time of unprecedented collaboration between the AU Commission and Member States, as a result of a global COVID-19 Pandemic. This situation has led to uncertainty, Economic Meltdown, the impeding of Free Trade and Movement of persons on our continent and loss of lives among others. While it is true that Member States have acted swiftly to support their economies; nonetheless, these efforts have been constrained by falling revenues and limited fiscal space”, the Liberian Foreign Minister indicated.
Ambassador Kemayah further explained that the Continent’s resilience is being tested, stating that the Continent has come through much, and will definitely come through this crisis. “But with stepped-up support from ourselves and international partners, the Continent will be able to boost local containment effort and enjoy robust recovery during the 2021 period,” said Minister Kemayah.
“I am pleased for the opportunity to address this distinguished Council as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia. Let me recall the untiring efforts of the founders of the OAU, including my country, Liberia, and their commitment to build a united and integrated Africa. We are glad; that aspiration remains the motivation of the AU.
“Considering the importance of the items on our Agenda, we are quite convinced that they are all in line with our Roadmap – “Agenda 2063, the Africa we want. We would like to use this medium to assure you once again that our Government remains quite supportive, and will work cooperatively with other Member States with the view of ensuring that we come out with decisions that will positively impact our Continent”, Ambassador Kemayah concluded.
For her part, the Chairperson of the Executive Council of the African Union, Madam Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, welcomed the new Liberia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. to the council, noting that the Executive Council will consider the draft agenda and the draft decisions and declarations of the Assembly with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Heads of State Assembly, scheduled to take place from 6-7 February 2021.
The Executive Council meeting brings together all the Ministers from the 55 African Union Member States, as well as AU officials. For two days, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs/External Relations and other Ministers or authorities duly designated will reconvene in close session to deliberate on the different items on their agenda including the consideration of the report of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC); Annual Report on the Activities of the Union and its Organs for the period of January to December 2020; consideration of the report on the African Union Response on COVID-19 pandemic in Africa; consideration of the progress report on the operationalization of the African Inclusive Market Excellence Centre (AIMEC); the report on the second mid-year coordination meeting, held on 22 October 2020, as well as elections and appointments of the AUC leadership.