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The 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Summit held with the theme ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’ ended on 29 January 2018, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa. It ended with the adoption of key decisions by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. Below are the summarized points.
They agreed that a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is vital to the achievement of the long-term vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa under the AU Agenda 2063; because it will bring about enhanced connectivity across the continent leading to sustainable development of the aviation and tourism industry with immense contribution to economic growth, job creation, prosperity and integration of Africa. It’s against this backdrop the Assembly adopted the Decision on the Establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market. Twenty-three (23) Member States have declared their Solemn Commitment to the immediate implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision towards establishment of a Single African Air Transport so far.
With regard to an African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), the Assembly decided to hold an Extraordinary Summit on 21 March 2018, preceded by an Extraordianary Session of the Executive Council on 19 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, to consider the CFTA Legal instruments and sign the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area and requested that the AU Commission convene an Extraordinary session of the STC on Justice and Legal Affairs to consider the instruments prior to the Summit.
The Assembly also adopted a protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to Free Movement of Persons, Rights of Residence and Right of Establishment and its Draft Implementation Roadmap.
To help finance the Union, the Assembly decided that the membership of the Committee of Ministers of Finance should be expanded from ten (10) to fifteen (15) members based on the principles of equitable geographical distribution and rotation. In this regard, the Committee will be called the Committee of Fifteen Ministers of Finance.
In refrence to the Report of the Leader of the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya, the Assembly expressed once again its deep concern over the persistent political impasse and the security situation in Libya, which perpetuates the suffering of the Libyan people, undermines the legal institutions of the country and poses a challenge to security and stability in neighbouring countries and in the entire region. The Assembly asked the African Union Commission to re-launch the efforts of the Contact Group on Libya, in close cooperation with the United Nations, in order to pool the efforts of the international community on the issue and support the efforts of the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya and expressed once again, its appreciation to Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, Leader of the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya, to the African Union Special Representative,. Jakaya Kikwete, as well as to neighbouring countries, for the efforts made towards achieving lasting peace in Libya.
On the Report of the Peace and Security Council abouth its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa, the Assembly welcomed the signing, on 21 December 2017, by the South Sudanese stakeholders of an Agreement of Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access, and commended IGAD for leading the High Level Revitalization Forum, which presents a unique opportunity for the implementation of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), in line with the Communique of the 720th meeting of the PSC, held at the ministerial level, in New York, on 20 September 2017. The Assembly expressed deep concern over the repeated violations of the Agreement by the parties, resulting in further deterioration of the already dire humanitarian situation caused by the ongoing conflict, and stated that all warring parties should stop military actions immediately and keep the commitments they agreed to on December 21, 2017. With regard to the Implementation of the Assembly Decision on the Institutional Reform of the African Union, the Assembly reiterated the commitment to the reform and renewal of the Union as part of the effort to ensure delivery of Agenda 2063 as an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena. The Assembly decided that the Reform Troika will be expanded to the Bureau of the Assembly and will collaborate with President Kagame in his capacity as Lead on the AU Institutional Reform process.
On the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) Initiative, the Assembly reaffirmed commitment to end hunger by 2025 through strengthening development policies as an effective investment in the human capital of our countries; and re-committed to end child stunting by reducing stunting to 10% and underweight to 5% by 2025 and in particular, focusing on the first 1000 Days as the only window of opportunity during which permanent and irreversible physical and mental damage would be avoided.