President, African leaders discuss gun violence on continent

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and leaders from the African Union (AU) member states are deliberating at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government Summit here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to find lasting solutions to the spate of gun violence which has, over the years, become a major threat to peace and security on the continent.

The summit, which opened yesterday on the theme ‘Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development’, aims to help achieve the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063, which envisions a peaceful and secure Africa.

President Akufo-Addo and his delegation of top government ministers and officials are participating in statutory meetings and other side events at the two-day summit scheduled to end today.

At the opening session yesterday, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, was announced the new Chairperson of the African Union (AU), taking over from the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The new AU Chairman outlined his vision for the continent and pledged to, among others, work with President Akufo-Addo, who is the AU leader on Gender and Development, to fight gender inequalities on the continent.

The South African leader expressed the commitment to support President AKufo-Addo, who is coordinating the AU’s efforts on gender equality and related issues in Africa.

The Chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki, also in an address at the plenary, praised President Akufo-Addo for accepting to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area in Ghana.

Aside the opening session of the Summit, President Akufo-Addo held a breakfast meeting with African members of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS).

He also attended the opening ceremony of the headquarters of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA). 

In addition to the key discussions around the theme for this year, President Akufo-Addo and his colleague leaders are deliberating upon the road towards the implementation of Africa’s peace and security agenda and other headline issues.

The issues include sustainable funding of Africa’s development agenda, specifically addressing the scale of assessment and contributions to the AU’s budget, progress made in the implementation of Agenda 2063, and operationalisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area

Others are matters related to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, transition of the African energy sector, and food security and nutrition in Africa and its contribution to the maintenance of peace. 

FROM YAW KYEI, ADDIS ABABA

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