Heads of State and dignitaries are among prominent figures who converged in Nairobi, Kenya for the fifth African Union (AU) Mid Year Coordination meeting.
Kenyan President William Ruto and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki delivered keynote addresses to mark the opening of the conference on Sunday, July 16.
Calls for self-reliance and regional peace headlined the meeting under the theme “Acceleration of AfCTA Implementation”.
In his address, President William Ruto underscored the need for African countries to work towards ensuring that the continent is able to pursue critical goals using internal resources without relying on support from external help.
Ruto noted that overdependence on aid from the external partners was detrimental to Africa’s quest for self determination.
Additionally, the Kenyan President lauded efforts towards the realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) noting that it was a testimony to the continent’s determination of achieving economic transformation.
“The most compelling signal that African integration is unstoppable, and that it will open doors for unprecedented socioeconomic transformation, is the progress we have made in implementing the AfCFTA,” Ruto stated while addressing the opening ceremony.
“We must be proud of this magnificent project by and for ourselves.”
On his part, Nigeria’s Bola Tinubu stated that the opportunities presented by the AfCTA will be crucial in achieving a prosperous future.
African Union calls for new order
Tinubu called for the adoption of a new order where African nations will be focused on leveraging internal trade and good governance to achieve economic prosperity.
At the same time, AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki stressed the role of regional economic communities in efforts to maximize economic benefits in Africa’s trade.
Other leaders present in the meeting were Comoros’ President Ghazali Osmani, Democratic Republic of Congo’s Felix Tshikedei, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah.
Besides intra-Africa trade and economic resilience, the meeting also focused on the various efforts undertaken to ensure peace and security across the continent.
In addition, the meeting in Nairobi also played host to several bilateral talks between leaders in attendance.