Ethiopia Begins Preparing to Host African Union Leaders Summit

ADDIS ABABA – Preparations are underway to host the upcoming African Union leaders summit, scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa next month, according to the Ministry of Foreign affairs.

The 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly will be held in Addis Ababa under the topic “Accelerating AfCFTA Implementation.”

The committee assessed the status of preparations thus far in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen on Wednesday.

Demeke said that the summit would be held at a time when Ethiopia is emerging from a challenging situation, stating its significance to build a positive image of the country.

He stated that Ethiopia should build on the success of hosting the AU Sessions last year and learn from observed challenges in order to properly organize the forthcoming sessions, which will require collaboration across diverse sectors.

The discussion established guidelines for the remaining tasks that each stakeholder must complete, as per the Foreign Ministry.

Chairperson of the national committee and state minister of Foreign Affairs Birtukan Ayano said that preparation work is already underway to ensure that participants of the AU meetings enjoy a successful stay in Addis Ababa.

Message to Addis Residents

On Thursday, State Minister Birukan briefed reporters on Ethiopia’s preparations for the AU summit along with Ayele Lire, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and UNECA.

According to Burtukan, preparations are being made to ensure the success of the AU Summit, based on plans developed by the national committee.

She further highlighted that this year’s AU Summit will take place during the implementation of the Peace Agreement negotiated to end the conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Finally, Ambassador Burtukan Ayano urged Ethiopians, particularly the inhabitants of Addis Ababa, and all stakeholders to do everything possible to ensure the success of the AU Summit.

The 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly is expected to elect a director for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) will be one of the primary agenda topics, among others.

The Africa CDC has been led by Acting director Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma since Dr. John Nkengasong became U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator in Charge PEPFAR in May 2022.

[Editors Note: This article was updated on Thursday, January 26 to add Ambassador Birtukan’s comment made during the press briefing]