MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Stanley Kakubo says President Hakainde Hichilema is scheduled to visit Ethiopia this Friday.
In a statement, Thursday, Kakubo said President Hichilema’s visit to Ethiopia was in line with his participation in the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union scheduled for 5th to 6th February, 2022, in that country.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to inform the nation that Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia will participate in the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union scheduled for 5th to 6th February, 2022, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This will be the first time President Hichilema will be attending the annual Summit since taking office in August 2021. The President is expected to deliver his maiden speech along with other new Heads of State and Government on the continent. The President will also update the Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Zambia’s preparedness to host the African Union Mid-Year Coordinating Summit in July 2022,” he said
“The Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, which is normally attended by Heads of State and Government from the continent, will be convened under the theme “Building Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthen Agriculture, Accelerate Human Capital, Social and Economic Development”.
He said the session, which would be held under the theme; “Building Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent”, would tackle issues like the AU’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Summit is expected to deliberate on, among other issues, the African Union’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa; the African Union Institutional Reforms; the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063; the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the African Union financial institutions. The Assembly is also expected to consider the state of peace and security in Africa as well as the implementation of the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa,” he said
“The Summit has been preceded by the 40th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (Session of Ministers) of the African Union, which commenced on Wednesday 2nd February and ends today, Thursday 3rd February, 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation remains committed to ensuring that the country continues to be an active member of the African Union. President Hichilema has continued to emphasize the importance of promoting intra African trade and collaboration for beneficial economic and social development of the continent. By maintaining open and cordial relations through pragmatic cooperation with countries on the continent, Zambia will fulfill the agenda of common development aspirations, based on mutual benefit for the betterment of the peoples of the continent.”
The Foreign Affairs minister said the President was expected to return to Zambia immediately after his engagements.
And in his Facebook post, Thursday, President Hichilema said he would take advantage of the session to discuss important issues which would attract investment to Zambia.
“We are proceeding to Addis Ababa on Friday, to attend the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly. We will deliver our maiden speech as well as give an update on Zambia’s preparedness to host the mid-year Coordination Session in Lusaka. This year’s theme “Building Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthen Agriculture, Accelerate Human Capital, Social and Economic Development” aligns perfectly with our own objectives as a country. We will use this occasion to engage with other institutions and investors that will be willing to partner with us towards our economic revival,” said President Hichilema
“As Zambia’s Chief Marketing Officer, we intend to take full advantage of the presence of global leaders present to make a case for our country. In addition, we will engage with other leaders to discuss peace and security for the continent, as we are aware that without peace and security, we cannot thrive nor have development. This Summit offers an important platform to discuss strategies on containing COVID-19 so that our economies can begin to recover. We look forward to engaging with participants from a cross-section of our continent.”