AU Summit kicks off today


The 21st Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) officially kicks off today at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa. The summit that will be held for nine days holds the theme “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance” and will be celebrating the 50thanniversary of the OAU/AU.
The anniversary will celebrate African history and the future the continent holds. It is expected to encourage and energize the African population. Its goal is not only commemoration but also to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. 
According to the Assembly of the Union’s agenda, there will be the adaptation of the proclamation on the 50th Anniversary of the AU, adaptation of the strategic plan for 2014 to 2017 for the African Union Commission as well as the adaptation of the 2014 budget for the AU.
There will also be consideration of the report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa; report of Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Chairperson of the High–Level Panel on Alternative Sources of Funding the African Union; consideration of the Report of Heads of State and Government Action Committee on AIDS Watch Africa (AWA); and  consideration of the Report of the Commission on the Post 2015 Development Agenda among others.
Items proposed by Member States that will be considered will be transfer of the Diaspora Outcomes Program to NEPAD, Strengthening African Leadership in the Process of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as well as Support to Film Production towards increasing its contribution to Africa’s Development.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as host to the Headquarters of the then OAU and now the African Union, the celebration of the 50th Anniversary has a special significance for Ethiopia. Accordingly, the Ethiopian government has established a National Organizing Committee (NOC) tasked with the responsibility of organizing the celebration event. The NOC is composed of all the relevant stakeholders including sectoral ministries, state owned enterprises, Chambers of Commerce, Labor Union and a number of other professional associations. The national organizing committee has in turn set up seven sub-committees in charge of coordinating the major tasks to be undertaken to colorfully celebrate the event.