10 February 2019

Angolan Foreign Minister Highlights AU Reforms

Addis Ababa — Angolan minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel Augusto has described as positive the ongoing reforms in the African Union, led by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

The minister was speaking to the Angolan press on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the venue of 32nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Manuel Augusto said that the African leaders have made an effort to endow the organisation with human and material resources, in order to achieve its goals.

The Angolan minister said that the process of reform at the level of the organisation is consensual, stressing that the way of implementation is not always unanimous.

In view of this situation, he said, the organisation is working so that some decisions can be made at this summit.

Despite the steps taken, Manuel Augsto acknowledged that in recent years there have been many good and other negative events, such as wars, endemics and humanitarian crises that have had an impact on the work of the organisation.

The Angolan top diplomat recalled that there was a "radicalism of change" in 2018, a process led by the acting president of the organization, the Rwandan Paul Kagame.

"We can say that Africa, as a continent, has taken significant steps to align with the world trend of the large regional blocs. Of course, these processes take time "he said.

He mentioned the approval of the Free Trade Area Agreement as the major event of the year in the framework of the reforms.

As for the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons, the central theme of this summit, the minister said that it was necessary to tackle the causes of this phenomenon and find ways to mitigate the consequences of this scourge.

One of the solutions pointed out by Manuel Augusto is to improve the standard of living of citizens in African countries, through the development of economic programmes that create jobs for youth.

The Angolan minister attends this Sunday (10th) the 32nd AU Summit, on behalf of the Head of State, João Lourenço.

The 32nd Summit is taking place under the theme "Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced: Durable Solutions for Forced Displacement in Africa".

The event will be presided over by the head of State of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who is taking over the chair of the organisation on Sunday (10).

The meeting of African leaders will be marked by the analysis of the most important issues of the day.

Topics like the implementation of the decision to reform the organisation, the elections held in 2018 on the continent, regional integration, the peace and security situation, the humanitarian situation and analysis of the 2019 budget.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame, who will end his term as head of the continental organisation, will present a report on the ongoing reform process at the institution, as a result of the 11th Extraordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State on reforms carried out on 17- 18 November, 2018.

The participants are also expected to discuss the crisis on the continent, particularly in countries such as DR Congo, CAR, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia.

Updated information on the implementation of the master roadmap to silence arms by 2020, as well as the electoral processes carried out in 2018 in DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Sao Tome and Principe, will also be part of the peace and security report.

The Summit will also address the issue of combat terrorism and violent extremism in Africa.

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