Zambia-AU-Summit

Zambia: 12 leaders to attend AU coordination summit

APA-Lusaka (Zambia)

Some 12 heads of state and government has confirmed participation at next week’s 4th African Union (AU) Mid-Year Coordination Meeting to be hosted by Zambia, Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo said late Wednesday.

Kakubo said in a statement that among those expected to attend are the four heads of state and government that form the Bureau of the Assembly of the AU and eight heads of state that chair the eight regional economic communities (RECs) that are recognized by the AU. 

The AU bureau comprises representatives of the five African regions of Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa. 

The eight RECs are the Arab Maghreb Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Community of Sahel-Saharan States; East African Community, Economic Community of West African States, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the Southern African Development Community.

According to Kakubo, out of the five regions forming the AU bureau only East Africa would not be represented at the meeting scheduled on July 17 due to continued internal consultations being undertaken on leadership.

‘’In this regard Zambia is expected to host the twelve (12) Heads of State and Government,” Kakubo said. 

Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema would participate as host of the meeting, which is set for the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.

The coordination meeting was conceptualized in 2017 as the principal forum for the AU and its RECs to align their work and coordinate the implementation of the continental integration agenda. It replaced the previous mid-year summits that were usually held around June/July and involved the leaders of all the 55 AU member states. 

This year’s meeting is expected to receive reports from the chairpersons of the various RECs on the status of regional integration and would consider the outcome of ongoing negotiations between the AU, RECs and member states on already agreed areas of integration.

It is also expected to discuss the expected launch of the inter-regional knowledge exchange (I-RECKE) on Early Warning and Conflict Prevention. 

I-RECKE is an institutional community of practice for intra-continental and cross-regional learning to build peace. It is a Pan-African mechanism for developing, capturing and documenting knowledge and also sharing lessons learned, and experiences on governance and conflict prevention on the continent. 

Other agenda items include the impact of the Ukraine crisis on Africa in light of the skyrocketing increases already registered in the prices of natural gas, wheat and fertilizer, as well as the continent’s response to COVID-19. 

JN/APA

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