2017 AU SUMMIT A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE IN EMPOWERING AFRICA’S YOUTH, SAYS KEYAN FM

ADDIS ABABA, Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Amina Mohamed has described this week's 29th African Union (AU) Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government as marking a significant milestone in empowering the youth of Africa and securing the future of the continent.

Speaking to the media here Monday ahead of the Summit at which she will be representing President Uhuru Kenyatta, she said the summit theme of "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth" was expected to marshal and reinforce the commitment of African leaders, and all stakeholders, towards implementing policies and programmes which would empower Africa's youth.

The objectives of this theme are to help in fast-tracking the implementation of demographic dividend initiatives in Africa, and to adopt a road-map with key deliverables and milestones to guide member states on concrete actions to be undertaken in 2017 and beyond, she added.

Amina Mohamed said the AU had developed a demographic dividend road-map which member states are expected to domesticate. The African Union roadmap focuses on four key thematic pillars namely; health and well-being, education and skills development, employment and entrepreneurship, and governance, she noted.

The debate on the theme will be preceded by a presentation by President Idriss Deby of Chad who will moderate the session on the theme at the Summit which is taking place on Monday and Tuesday.

The summit will also deliberate on other key issues, including the report of the AU Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) on its activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa as well as the report by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on the AU's institutional reform.

Also to be reviewed will be the report on the proposed Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which will be presented by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger. The report will update the on-going negotiations on the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

The review of a report on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council, and the report on the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa which will be presented by Presidents Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Abdel Bouteflika of Algeria, respectively, are also on the agenda.

The Assembly is expected to appoint key officials elected during the 31st Session of the Executive Council, among them four members of the AU Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) and four members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, said Amina Mohamed.

The Summit was opened by President Alpha Conde of Guinea, who is the current Chairperson of the AU. Among those attending the summit are Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine, and Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK