The 29th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union that ended yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia elected Rwanda to lead the Union in 2018.
Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, announced the development this via her Twitter account after the closing ceremony.
“African Union Summit now in closing; among many decisions, Rwanda elected to lead the Union in 2018. We are honored and express appreciation!” Mushikiwabo said.
President Paul Kagame on Monday presented to the summit a report on the implementation of the AU institutional reforms.
He warned that certain aspects of the reforms could cause discomfort among some external partners as it challenges some of their interests as the continent seek to become more independent.
Mushikiwabo said that there is steady progress on the proposed reforms, adding that more than 10 countries are already implementing the January 2018 self-financing scheme.
Rwanda will take over leadership from Guinea on January 30, 2018. The President of Rwanda will then replace President Alpha Condé of Guinea for a period of one year.
This is the first time that Rwanda will be chairing the Union since it was established in 2001 and launched in 2002 as African Union (AU), replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
At the closure of the session, the African Union Chairperson, President Alpha Condé, urged Africa to consult regularly and to speak with one voice.
The summit concluded on Tuesday with calls for strong collaboration among African countries to tackle key regional and global issues.
Condé said there is need to jointly address issues such as terrorism and migration which he said take Africa’s vital resource, the youth, out of the continent.
Meanwhile, the closing ceremony also featured the swearing in of two senior AU officials: the commissioner for economic affairs (from Madagascar) and the commissioner for human resource, science and technology (from Cameroon) who will serve for four years.
The summit was convened under the theme, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth.”