The 34th African Union summit opened virtually on Saturday as African leaders discuss very critical issues affecting the continent.
The 55-member union will be holding this summit for the next two days on theme “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.”
The summit is taking place at the time the continent and the world is battling the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The continent of Africa has so far recorded 3.5% of global virus cases and 4% of global deaths, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
African leaders will be discussing Africa’s response to the pandemic and how economies can overcome the damage.
Many African countries are yet to vaccinate their populations against the pandemic and accessing vaccines has been a challenge.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a pandemic response update during the closed portion of the summit on Saturday.
[Invitation] Opening Ceremony of the 34th Ordinary Session of the @_AfricaUnion Assembly live today @ 10:000pm EAT @
– Twitter: https://t.co/yztXzrkzM6
– Youtube: https://t.co/nj0dc7Wmym
– Livestream: https://t.co/bJ7qAhDm4O https://t.co/yztXzrkzM6
— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) February 6, 2021
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has taken over from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as chairman of the African Union for the next one year.
Issues of security relating to the Sahel, Libya, South Sudan and Somalia will also be on the agenda for discussion.
The election of an African Union Commission chairperson and six other commissioners will also take place at this weekend’s summit.
Incumbent chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat is standing for re-election for a second and last four-year term without any challenge.
U.S President Joe Biden sent a message to participants of this year’s African Union summit, pledging to work with the AU to advance a “shared vision of a better future.”
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with the African Union to advance our shared vision of a better future.
Watch President Biden’s Message to African Union Summit Participants: pic.twitter.com/tXFX4Tp9PD
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 5, 2021