African leaders gather in Addis Ababa for AU Heads of State Summit

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi bids farewell to government officials moments before departing for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 2020 African Union Heads of State Summit./ PHOTO: Botswana Presidency.

African leaders are already gathering in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for the 33 African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit, which is scheduled to begin on 9 February.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari are among some of the leaders who traveled on Friday to attend the annual Summit.

The 2020 AU summit is held under the theme, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

As a flagship project of Agenda 2063, a blueprint for prosperous and peaceful Africa by 2063, “Silencing the guns by 2020” was adopted by the AU heads of state during the 50th anniversary of the then Organization for African Union (OAU) now African Union (AU) in 2013.

The continental bloc hopes to bring a stop to all conflicts in the continent in order to achieve stability, which is vital for the implementation of the Agenda 2063.

During the Heads of State Summit, South Africa will take over the AU chairship from Egypt.

The South African presidency last month outlined its plan for the role, which includes; promoting peace in Africa, pursuing economic development, championing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and amplifying the calls for gender equality and promoting peace.