African Heads of state in a group photo at the 27th AU-Summit in Kigali
African Heads of state in a group photo at the 27th AU-Summit in Kigali

African Heads of State have tasked Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame to propose detailed reforms which can help the African Union  deliver tangible results.

During the 27th assembly of the union that closed on Monday in Kigali, African heads of state gave Kagame the assignment.

Idriss Déby, current Chairperson of the African Union and President of Tchad told the leaders that the brave option they have taken to changing AU working methods and shifting to deliver concrete and tangible results has to be organised and reinforced.

And President Kagame has the task to propose these reforms.  

“I am convinced that President Kagame has well understood the heavy task of proposing us an extensive reform of the union; his work will have his mark of know-how,” Déby said.

However, to deliver results, President Kagame said he will not work alone, rather, will consult his fellow heads of state.

“The responsibility as I understood, is to try and to work out ways in consultation with heads of state of the continent and other leaders.”

He said what is required for African Union is “to be more efficient in running our business, be cost effective so that there is no much time to waste or much in terms of resources to waste.”

He also said, being “ foot soldiers of this continent we can’t’ run away from our responsibilities we will be able to do that the best way we can in our abilities.”

This will require president Kagame to work on thorough plan, before embarking on the assignment.

He will then deliver results that will be assessed by the assembly.

While delivering his opening remarks yesterday, President Kagame reminded his fellow heads of state that Africa has no choice but to change the way it conducts business.

We need to start doing things differently and better. If Africa’s challenges are treated as routine it means we have accepted to be held back by them forever. We must all reject that future.

Dlamini-Zuma’s successor

Among other resolutions that were taken by the assembly was postponing the election of the union’s chairperson because none of the 3 candidates managed to obtain majority votes.

Candidates include; Agapito Mbo Mokuy from Equatorial Guinea, Specioza Wandira Kazibwe from Uganda and Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi from Botswana. They all failed to raise enough votes to succeed South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The later declined to run for a second four year mandate at the Head of AU, the 54 country organization.

“None of them obtained majority, which is two thirds of the votes,” said Déby.

“Elections were postponed to next year in January in Addis Ababa, to allow more candidates to file their candidacy.”

In a press conference yesterday, Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle, the AU Director of Legal Counsel dismissed the media allegation that, former President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete was advised to give his candidacy “because he was the only experienced person.”

“Kikwete was never on the list of candidates, we had three candidates since the beginning, the rest is rumors,” he said.

Heads of State proposed a fund to fight terrorism to be put in place and discussed crisis in Burundi and South Sudan.

Presidents of both countries did not attend the summit nor send a delegation whatsoever.

AU congratulated countries that made great innovations in the past five years in areas of inclusion of women in social affairs, economy and political leadership with a trophy.

Rwanda was awarded for inclusion of women in leadership while Algeria emerged general winner.




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