Decisive AU means more reliable partnerships – Kagame

President Paul Kagame has said that the African Union institutional reform aims at creating a self sufficient Union and will lead to more reliable external partnerships.
President Kagame and other Heads of State and Government at the ongoing 5th African Union-European Union Summit, which opened in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, yesterday. President Paul Kag....
President Kagame and other Heads of State and Government at the ongoing 5th African Union-European Union Summit, which opened in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, yesterday. President Paul Kag....

President Paul Kagame has said that the African Union institutional reform aims at creating a self sufficient Union and will lead to more reliable external partnerships.

Kagame was speaking in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, at the ongoing 5th African Union-European Union Summit which opened on Wednesday.

15119985905
President Kagame chats with the Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe Patrice Émery Trovoada at the AU-EU summit in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d'Ivoire, yesterday. Village Urugwiro.
15119985271
President Kagame delivers his keynote address, which focused on the ongoing African Union reform process, on Day I of the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on WednesdayVillage Urugwiro.

The meeting was attended by heads of state and government from Africa and Europe and focuses on monitoring developments in the implementation of mutual commitments by both groups of stakeholders.

15119985773
President Kagame shares a light moment with some of his counterparts in Abidjan yesterday. Village Urugwiro.
15119960492
Flags at seats for the delegates. Courtesy.

The meeting is taking place against the backdrop of harrowing revelations that immigrants, most of them from West Africa- are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya.

15119986097
President Kagame and other African leaders at the 5th AU-EU summit WednesdayVillage Urugwiro.
15119985864
A section of the African and European leaders at the summit in Abidjan yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

Kagame described the current migrant crisis as a test of collaboration between the two continents and called on all actors to act together.

“A test of our collaboration and our humanity lies clearly before us, with the unfolding tragedy of African migrants in Libya and in similar situations elsewhere. We must act together,” he said.

15119992352
The summit attracted leaders from around Africa and Europe, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left). Village Urugwiro.

“Guaranteeing opportunity, safety, and voice to the young people of both Europe and Africa, is the best defence of our shared values, and our common future,” Kagame added referring to youth participation and engagement as a central pillar of the AU institutional reform.

15119986006
A cultural troupe performs at the high-level African Union-European Union summit in Abidjan yesterday.  Village Urugwiro.

Kagame, who is spearheading the reform process, described the process as urgent and a necessity as the continent’s economic and security environment depends on quality of cooperation.

151199868116
President Kagame is welcomed at the airport in Abidjan by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara on Tuesday night ahead of the opening of the two-day AU-EU summit yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

“The forces reshaping the global economic and security environment mean that Africa’s future increasingly depends on the quality of cooperation within our own continent, first and foremost,” Kagame said.

151199865813
President Kagame held talks with several leaders, including Chad President Idriss Deby Itno (left), on the sidelines of the African Union-European Union Summit in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan on WednesdayVillage Urugwiro.

“This includes, critically, our responsibility to mobilise the resources to pay for important programmes that benefit our people, while alleviating the burden on our partners,” the President added.

The process is however flexible to accommodate the specific needs of member states without undermining the core principles it is anchored upon.

15119986148
President Kagame meets with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, on the sidelines of the 5th AU-EU Summit  in Abidjan yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

Among highlights of the reforms is the division of labour among regional economic blocs with increased coordination with the African Union Commission.

The reforms also present an opportunity to strengthen ties between Africa and external partners such as Europe; to tackle key issues including security, immigration and trade, among others.

15119986359
President Kagame leads his delegation (left) in a meeting with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and his delegation, on the sidelines of the Summit in Abidjan yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

“The reform represents a landmark opening to strengthen the partnership between Europe and Africa. Europe and Africa are permanent neighbours, and we have a shared understanding of numerous key interests, notably in terms of security, migration, environment, trade and investment,” the President observed.

151199864210
President Kagame meets with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on the sidelines of the 5th AU- EU Summit in Abidjan, yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

Held every three years, the summit in Abidjan was the third such summit to be held on the continent with previous meets being held in Egypt (2000), Portugal (2007), Libya (2010) and Belgium (2014).

This year’s summit is held under the theme “Investing in youth for a sustainable future.”

151199867515
President Kagame and his delegation, which included Foreign affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo (far left), in talks with the United Nations Secretary-GeneralAntonio Guterres and his delegation on the sidelines of the AU-EU summit in Côte d'Ivoire, yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

Among the main speakers at the meet are the chairperson of the African Union, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, African Union Commission chariperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission.

151199866714
President Kagame meets with Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister of Trade and International Cooperation, on the sidelines of the 5th AU-EU Summit on WednesdayVillage Urugwiro.

Other African leaders expected to make keynote presentations include Chad President Déby Itno, on enhancing economic opportunity for the youth, and King of Morocco Mohammed VI, on mobility and migration.

151199865012
President Kagame shares a light moment with the UN Secretary-General  Antonio Guterres and Sao Tome and Principe Premier Patrice Émery Trovoada (centre) in Abidjan yesterday. Village Urugwiro.

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to speak on AU-EU cooperation on peace and security, while Ghanaian President Akufo Addo is scheduled to talk about cooperation on governance between the two blocs.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

ADVERTISEMENT