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37th AU Heads of State Summit holds February 17 – 18

The 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union is set to be held February 17-18, 2024, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, vis-à-vis the African Union Theme of the Year for 2024: Education.

It will be recalled that the AU Theme for the Year 2023 was “Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area”. The AU had months ago announced education as its theme for 2024. The session will be preceded by the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (Ministerial Session) on February, 14 – 15, just as the 47th Ordinary Session of the PRC (Ambassadorial Session) was held January 15 – 26.    

In his remarks at the opening of the PRC Session, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, said the theme for 2024 was devoted to fostering the reform of education in Africa so as to realize the prospect of producing productive young Africans with the intellectual, scientific and ethical capacities to transform the continent.

“Success in this area [education] will have significant knock-on effects on sectors such as security, control of population growth, the empowerment of women and girls, agriculture, digitalization, migration, etc. [If] properly conducted and implemented in an orderly manner, educational reform will reverse the trend towards poverty and enhance the attractiveness of Africa, in terms of investment and therefore, the creation of prosperity,” Faki stated.

A statement by the AU Commission said, among others, the 2024 AU summit will explore how the continent can maintain momentum in addressing its litany of peace and security challenges, regional integration as well as sustainable development. “The annual convening of African leaders will interrogate the progress made in addressing the worrying security situation and conflicts in a few of its member states and proffer recommendations on innovative ways to sustainably address the crises in a bid to return to peace.” 

In the course of its 11-day session, the PRC session deliberated on diverse issues including the progress of the AU’s institutional and financial reforms, the operationalization of the African Union Peace Fund; the pre-selection of candidatures for leadership of the Commission by the Panel of Eminent Africans ahead of the upcoming 2024 AU Commission elections; the progress report on the implementation of the AfCFTA as the theme of the year 2023, among others.

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