FOREIGN Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi will tomorrow attend the 5th African Union executive council retreat in Ethiopia. The two-day retreat slated for December 8 and 9 would discuss election matters, democracy and other important issues.Ministers from 54 AU member States will attend the crucial meeting. The ministerial retreat would be held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
“The deliberations of the Ministers will focus on elections, democracy and effective and responsive governance; commodities; the implementation of Agenda 2063 and Integration,” said Minister Mumbengegwi in a statement.
The ministers will also receive presentations from the five candidates vying for the position of chairperson of the African Union Commission.
“The five candidates are from Botswana, Kenya, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Chad. The elections will be held during the 28th Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government scheduled for 30 and 31 January 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” reads the statement.
The ministerial retreat will take stock of the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The Charter seeks to promote adherence by States Parties to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights. The retreat, the minister said, would also deliberate and exchange views on the envisaged Continental Commodities Strategy.
“Discussions will revolve around the need to strengthen the management of African resources, the push for industrialisation and agricultural development. The issue of ownership of these resources will also take centre stage,” reads the minister’s statement.
Regarding the implementation of Agenda 2063, the minister said, focus will be on the AU flagship projects, namely the Inga III Hydro Power Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Integrated High Speed Train Network, the Pan African E-Network and the establishment of the Virtual University.
The projects were identified and agreed to during Zimbabwe’s Chairmanship of the African Union for the period January 2015 to January 2016. The Ministerial Retreat’s Outcomes will be submitted to the Ordinary Session of Executive Council meeting to be held end of January 2017 in Addis Ababa and subsequently to the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government on 30 and 31 January 2017.