President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and delegation on Saturday arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to attend the 28th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government. The Summit is held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividends through Investing in Youths.”
According to a dispatch from Addis Ababa, President Sirleaf who is the ECOWAS Chairperson was received at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by ranking officials of the African Union Commission and the Ethiopian Government.
Yesterday, President Sirleaf joined fellow heads of state at a Working Breakfast with the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa. Talks at the Working Breakfast focused on improving collaboration, coordination and partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.
The leaders of the continent also discussed with the new Secretary General ways to create joint approaches on global issues with emphasis on matters that affect the African continent. During the gathering President Sirleaf and ECOWAS were commended for their effective handling of the Gambian political crisis in a peaceful manner.
On Security Council matters, the African leaders and Secretary General Guterres agreed to work together to ensure reform of the Security Council and particularly for the allotment of a seat on the Council to Africa.
Yesterday, the heads of state and Government of the African Union Authority gathered for a closed door retreat that lasted for several hours in preparation for today’s formal opening of the 28th Ordinary Summit.
This year’s Summit will consider the election of a new chairperson of the African Union Commission as the tenure of the current chairperson comes to an end. Five candidates, among them aspirants from Botswana, Kenya, and Senegal, are contesting for the top African Union Commission post, the dispatch indicated.
The current chairperson of the Commission, Nkosazana Dlamani Zuma, was elected to chair the African Union Commission in 2012. According to the dispatch, her leadership has seen transformation both in the operation of the commission and outlook of the infrastructures at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia.
Thus far, President Sirleaf has held discussions with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the chairperson and other officials of the ECOWAS Commission, representatives of partners and donors, among others.