Malabo, June 23, 2014 (SPS) - The 23rd Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union kicked off Friday in Malabo, capital of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, under the theme “Agriculture and Food Security”, the main topic for the year 2014.
A Saharawi delegation is already on the ground represented by Permanent Representative to the AU, Lamine baali, while the Minister of Foreign affairs, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, will take part to the session of the Executive Council, before the arrival of the Presidential delegation headed by H.E. Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Republic to participate to the Summit.
In keeping with tradition, the newly elected Presidents of Malawi, H.E. Peter Mutharika; H.E. José Mário Vaz of Guinea Bissau and H.E. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt will be welcomed by the Assembly and will address the opening session on 26 June 2014.
Special guests of the summit are UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy Brey, along with other invited guests.
In line with the theme of the year, a summit side event on African Agribusiness Forum was scheduled for Sunday 22 June. It built on a series of consultations bringing out critical agribusiness issues aimed at translating political commitments into concrete action, and to accelerate agricultural transformation as an engine for inclusive growth and private sector investment in agriculture.
Meanwhile a pre-summit consultative meeting on the theme “Women at the Center of Africa’s Growth in Agriculture, Food Security and Agribusiness”, which is part of the AUC Chairperson’s initiative to enhance women’s involvement in agriculture and agribusiness, kicked off on Thursday 19 June, with over 60 participants representing women networks and organizations from Senegal, Mali, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Kenya, Liberia and Zimbabwe.
opening agri business 2AU’s Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, Mme Bineta Diop and Mr. Leo Heileman, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Coordinator delivered opening statements at the consultative meeting, which was officially opened by Equatorial Guinea’s Presidential Adviser for Gender Equality in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender Equality, Ms. Antonina Miko Mikue. Recommendations of the two-day conference will be submitted to the AU Summit. (SPS)