President Sall elected as new African Union chairperson
President Macky Sall of Senegal has been elected as the new Chairperson of the African Union for the year 2022.
The event took place today, Saturday 5 February 2022 during the ongoing Thirty-Fifth (35th) Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa 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 the Human, Social and Economic Development”.
Sall, who has led Senegal since 2012, succeeds Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for a one-year term.
In his inaugural speech during the two-day summit, Sall said Africa is beset by a multitude of problems despite its commendable progress over the past few decades.
“We face challenges in maintaining peace and security, and we cannot turn away from the devastating effects of war that are leading to the disintegration of social cohesion,” he said. The only way forward is to address the root causes of these issues and work together to resolve them, Sall emphasized.
He further noted that, “as our Union celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we can be proud of the progress made under major initiatives such as NEPAD, PIDA, APRM, Vision 2063, institutional reform, the Great Green Wall, the AfCFTA and more recently our coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, our challenges remain numerous and pressing; notably in the areas of peace and security, the fight against terrorism, environmental protection, health and economic and social development…” “I do not forget the resurgence of the phenomenon of coups d’état which constitutes a major attack on democracy and institutional stability on the continent”. Concluded the new AU Chair.
Africa is underrepresented
Despite being a continent of more than 1 billion people, Africa remains underrepresented in the UN, UN Security Council (UNSC), and other important global institutions, said Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
“Africa should have at least 2 permanent seats in the UNSC,” he said.
About his government’s conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in northern Ethiopia, Abiy said his administration is exploring every avenue for peace and has initiated a national dialogue to help resolve the country’s problems.