The 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) kicked off Wednesday at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa with the participation of Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.
The Ordinary Session of the Executive Council will consider the draft agenda, draft decisions, and declarations with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Heads of State and Government during their 36th AU Ordinary Session of the Assembly, scheduled to take place on 18-19 February 2023.
The ministers of foreign affairs and other ministers and officials duly designated will deliberate on the different items of the agenda including consideration of the report of the 45th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee held on 16-27 January 2023.
The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mohammed stated that despite many challenges the continent has been showing great signs of resilience.
Given the various crisis observed across the globe over the past years, the African Union has given a great deal of priority to addressing the challenges in health and nutrition in the continent.
The recently established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the African Medicines Agency (AMA) are expected to play key roles in realizing the continent’s challenges in terms of health and nutrition, as well as to end its dependency on foreign aid, he added.
He called on member states to enhance their cooperation with a view to bringing dependable health services and ensuring food self-sufficiency in the continent.
He also mentioned the ongoing efforts to accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as it is vital to promote investment, effectively utilize national wealth, to expedite digitalization and knowledge transfer among countries in the continent.
Noting that external interferences are obstacles to the peaceful conclusion of conflicts, the African Union has made significant efforts to strengthen the peace and stability of the continent over the past year citing the successful conclusion of the peace deals in Ethiopia and Sudan.
The two days session will consider, among others, the annual report of the Union and its organs, a report on the operationalization of Africa CDC, progress report on the establishment and operationalization of the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA).
On the sidelines of the 42nd African Union (AU) Executive Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta.
The two sides discussed a number of international and regional issues of common interest, with the Rwandan Foreign Minister reviewing developments in eastern Congo and the discussions on the security situation in eastern DRC, the prospects for the implementation of the political and military outputs of the Nairobi Process and the Luanda Road Map to establish security stability in the region, which was hosted by Burundi on February 4.
Minister Shoukry stressed Egypt’s support for the existing settlement tracks, expressing Egypt’s readiness to provide all means of support in this regard. The Foreign Minister also reviewed the current situation of the negotiations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and Egypt’s efforts over a decade with the aim of reaching a fair and balanced agreement that takes into account the interests of the three countries.
Earlier on Wednesday, Minister Shoukry met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Comoros, Dhoheer Dhoulkamal, Whose country is chairing the rotating presidency of the AU for one year during the AU summit scheduled for February 18-19.
Shoukry expressed Egypt’s confidence in the leadership of the Comoros Islands in the AU at a time when the continent is facing many political, economic, and security challenges. He also reiterated Egypt’s support for the Comoros presidency of the AU, looking forward to coordination and joint action towards strengthening collective African action under the umbrella of the AU.
The meeting also discussed bilateral relations between Egypt and Comoros, and the outcome of the meeting between the two leaderships in Egypt in 2019 during the chairmanship of the Comoros delegation in the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Development and Peace.
The foreign minister invited the Comorian foreign minister to visit Egypt in order to advance mutual cooperation.
Shoukry confirmed Egypt’s interest in strengthening cooperation with Comoros in the economic, commercial, investment, and technical fields, and looked forward to strengthening the role of Egyptian companies in contributing to the implementation of the projects of the “Comoros Plan 2030.
Minister Shoukry met on Wednesday with Chadian Foreign Minister Mohamed Saleh Al-Nazif on the sidelines.
Shoukry also confirmed Egypt’s support for the negotiation process to achieve stability in N’Djamena, stressing that Egypt is ready to provide all forms of support at this stage, out of its belief in the centrality of the Chadian role in the region.
He also briefed his counterpart on Egypt’s vision regarding a number of issues and topics on the agenda of the Executive Council and the African Summit, and they exchanged views on a number of issues and political and security crises on the continent.