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AU Summit Opens In Malabo On Monday

Heads of State and Government as well as other partners converge on the Sipopo Conference Hall on June 26, 2014 for the 23rd Ordinary Session to concretize and validate experts’ proposals.

Deliberations at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) holding in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, reach their peak today, June 26 with the official opening ceremony in which the continent’s Heads of State and Government will be taking part. All that it takes to make the ceremony eventful have been put in place.  The imposing Sipopo Conference Hall has been refurbished and readjusted to suit the ceremony.

All the security measures have been taken to ensure a hitch-free summit and special buses allocated to shuttle between the conference building and the city centre where most of the participants are lodged.  The electric poles along the beautiful streets of the new Malabo have been lined with flags of the 54 African nations that make up the African Union.

Organised under the theme; “Agriculture and Food Security”, the 23rd session of the AU is holding within the precincts of the continent’s 50-year vision, code name, “Agenda 2063; the Africa We Want.” The choice of agriculture and food security as stated by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission in her statement to the 25th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council that took place in Malabo last June 23 is not by chance.

Agriculture is a priority for Africa as it has the potential not only to propel the continent towards its goal of eradicating poverty and hunger in one generation, but also to contribute towards the industrialization through agro-processing and the development of infrastructure. The Malabo Summit has as greatest challenge to identify and make fruitful all strategies and avenues that can remove the continent from dependency.

Experts have been deliberating on this since June 23 having as common denominator the need to modernize and mechanize agriculture. In effect, agriculture and agribusiness must move together if the continent must boost its production and move towards self-sufficiency.

Other areas of interest to be tackled by the African Heads of State and Government include: growing insecurity in the continent, infrastructure development, industrialization, investment and growth, regional economic integration and domestic resource mobilization among others.
The opening ceremony will feature statements from the host President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz , President of the Republic of Mauritania, who doubles as Chairman of the African Union, Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) among others.

A public session will focus on how to transform Africa’s agriculture for shared prosperity and improve livelihoods through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

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