President Paul Kagame: The new African Union’s Chairperson for the year 2018

The newly elected African Union’s Chairperson for the year, President Paul Kagame, delivering his acceptance speech (PHOTO: AU)

The President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, made the commitment while delivering his acceptance speech as the new chairperson of the African Union during the 30th Ordinary Session of African Union Assembly.

ADDIS ABABA (AU)–The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) meeting at their 30th Ordinary Session at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, elected on 28th January 2018 a new bureau to pilot the activities of the Union for the year 2018.

The newly elected Chair of the African Union is HE. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. He is taking over from HE. Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea who has been chairing the Union for the past year 2017.

The other members elected for the AU bureau are as follows:

● 1st Vice Chair H.E. Mr. Faiz El Saraj, President of the Presidential Council of Libya (North Africa)
● 2nd Vice Chair H.E Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa
● 3rd Vice Chair H.E Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo (Central Africa)
● 4th Vice Chair H.E Mr. Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinee (Wests Africa)

In his acceptance speech delivered against the backdrop of the theme of the year 2018: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, President Paul Kagame said it is a solemn honor, to accept the call to serve as Chairperson of our Union. He expressed his gratitude to the Heads of State for their double trust. First as the leader of the reform process and now as the leader of the African Union.

“I promise to do this with you and do the best job I can. Obviously, I will need your full support” he said , before acknowledging the high experience of his predecessor, saying “President Alpha Condé is a professor, a teacher, and I can safely say that I have learned from him. I have also seen his very big heart for Africa. Congratulations Mr President” . He called on his peers to join him in paying tribute to President Conde’s impeccable service to our organization. “ I have been lucky to work with his predecessor President Idriss Deby, and even luckier, to work with both of them. I want to assure you that I had a lot of wisdom flowing from them”, noted the newly elected Chair of the Union.

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President Kagame underlined that, Africa’s defining challenge is to create a pathway to prosperity for our people, especially the young people. He said, elsewhere, this has been achieved through industrialization. But the growth trajectory that transformed Asia is not necessarily any longer a viable option for Africa, simply because we waited too long to act. He added that, technology has evolved so rapidly in recent years, that Africa’s window to follow that strategy is narrowing much more rapidly than previously understood. “We are running out of time, and we must act now to save Africa from permanent deprivation” incoming Chair of the Union.

Read the complete story at AU

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