ADDIS ABABA – President of Senegal Macky Sall on Saturday took over the rotating African Union (AU) chairmanship at the opening of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
This year’s AU summit is being held under the theme “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Development.”
Sall replaces Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In his acceptance speech, Sall said Africa is facing big challenges with regard to the increasing unconstitutional change of government and the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the continent’s health service and economies hard.
“We still face many and urgent challenges related to peace and security, the fight against terrorism, the unconstitutional change of government, and protection of environment, health, economic and social development,” he said.
“We cannot take our face away from all these lives that are lost — the bereaved family, the millions of displaced persons or refugees, the schools and health facilities that are closed and disintegrated social cohesion,” he said.
In his handing over speech, Tshisekedi highlighted some of the achievements under his chairmanship of the Union notably, the economic empowerment of the women and youths, the enhancement of democracy and good governance, among other development programs under Agenda 2063.
The outgoing chair of the Union further underlined the initiatives undertaken under his leadership to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.