President Zuma arrives in Ethiopia for 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union

President Jacob Zuma has this evening, 28 January 2016, arrived in Addis Ababa, in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, to attend the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union scheduled to take place from 28-31 under the theme: "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth".

The AU Assembly will be preceded, on 29 January 2017, by a retreat of AU Heads of State and Government, where the leaders will consider a report to be presented by the President of Rwanda, His Excellency President Paul Kagame, on institutional reforms of the AU aimed at enhancing the continental body's governance systems.

The report was commissioned at the last AU Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda. The former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni was appointed by President Kagame as one of the experts who assisted him with the project.

Amongst other things, the Assembly will consider and deliberate on reports focusing on the state of peace and security on the continent, the African Peer Review Mechanism and Climate Change. The Assembly will also consider the 2016 Annual Report of the AU Commission, which is expected to focus on the implementation and domestication of Agenda 2063, economic integration, the continental passport as well as peace support and peace-keeping missions.

The African Union Assembly will also elect a new Chairperson of the AU Commission, Deputy Chair and eight Commissioners. The term of office of the incumbent Chair of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, came to an end in June 2016 and was extended by the AU leaders till the January 2017 Summit to enable the AU to elect her successor.

The Assembly is also expected to consider the application by the Kingdom of Morocco to become the AU's 55th Member State.

President Zuma is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of State Security, Mr David Mahlobo; Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Jeff Radebe; Minister of Public Service and Administration, Adv Ngoako Ramatlhodi; Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, and Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa