First AU Ministerial Retreat Reflects on Africa’s Agenda 2063
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 24th January 2014: With the aim of brainstorming and exchanging ideas on critical issues relating to Africa’s Agenda 2063, and the state of the African Union, members of the AU Executive Council converged at a ministerial retreat, which kicked off on24th January 2014, in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar, under the theme of “Defining Agenda 2063 for Africa”.
Hosted by the Ethiopian Government in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the three-day retreat is to discuss the framework for the Agenda 2063, the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Commission (2014-2017), and revisit AU structures, decision making processes, and its implementation mechanisms for effective delivery on set objectives.
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, AUC Chairperson, noted in her opening remarks that as Africa just emerged from the collective reflections on Pan Africanism and African Renaissance that grounded its golden jubilee celebrations, and as it looks ahead towards the next fifty years, the retreat presents an opportunity to revisit some of the debates, in a more convivial atmosphere.
Dr. Dlamini Zuma said that the decision of the Chairperson of the Executive Council to have this retreat on the Africa Agenda 2063 is well-timed, with a view “to enable this august body to add its collective contribution towards the Africa we want and the milestones we must set towards this end”, specially that the Africa’s Agenda 2063 is coming after a year of robust consultations with civil society on the future they want.
Addressing the retreat, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the AU Executive Council, highlightedthat the continent needs to address issues such as the economic emancipation, peace and stability, accelerating rapid economic growth, governance and democratization, leadership and the need for a critical mass of people with a developmental mindset, in order to realize its long term agendas. He emphasized on the significance of the Agenda 2063 for the future of the African continent and achievement of the African Renaissance.
Representing the host country, Mr. Gedu Andargachew, President of the Amhara National Regional State, welcomed the hosting of the ministerial retreat inBahir Dar, noting that the event “will offer a good opportunity for our people to enhance their understanding of our continental organization and its activities”.
The overall objective of the First Ministerial Retreat of the African Union is to give clear direction and guidelines on the key areas of Agenda 2063 for subsequent elaboration and devising on best ways and means of improving the functioning of the AU structures, institutions and processes with a view to attaining its objectives as well as to galvanize synergy among all major stakeholders, actors and development partners. Agenda 2063 will be considered by the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government on 30th January, and the final adoption is expected to be done at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly in June/July 2014.
The retreat is being attended by the AU Foreign Ministers and Members of the Executive Council; Dr. Carlos Lopez, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; Mr. Erastus Mwencha Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission; AU Commissioners, and members of the PRC and other officials.
The ministerial retreat will end its debates on Sunday 26th January 2014.
A U Commission
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