Just like every January, the African Union (AU) has will be meeting for its 30th ordinary session of the assembly of heads of state and government from January 22 to 29, 2018, in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The AU has dedicated the year 2018 an African anti-corruption year. The summit will be held under the theme: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation,” at the headquarters of the pan-African bloc in Addis Ababa.
In his New Year message, the chairperson of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat underlined that the fight against corruption assumes even greater importance and urgency.
“Despite encouraging steps in the past five years, huge challenges remain in the fight against corruption in Africa, for which the African Union (AU) has declared the year 2018 as African anti-corruption year,” the Chairperson of the AU Commission said.
That aside, it is tradition every year that a president from one of the African countries, leads the organization as the chairman. The Chairman of the African Union is the ceremonial head of the African Union elected by the Assembly of Heads of State for a one-year term and it rotates among the continent’s five regions. This year president Paul Kagame of Rwanda will take over leadership from Guinea on January 30, 2018, on behalf of the Eastern Region of Africa. The President of Rwanda will be replacing President Alpha Condé of Guinea for a period of one year.
This is the first time that Rwanda will be chairing the Union since it was established in 2001 and launched in 2002 as the African Union (AU), replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
All eyes are on him especially as so many in the continent look up to him as one of the finest African leaders in contemporary times and he has been leading the AU institutional reforms process. In 2016 African leaders decided that Institutional Reforms of the African Union (AU) was urgent and necessary given the role the AU is expected to play in driving and achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063 vision of inclusive economic growth and development.
H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, was appointed to lead the AU institutional reforms process. He appointed a pan-African committee of experts to review and submit proposals for a system of governance for the AU that would ensure the organisation was better placed to address the challenges facing the continent with the aim of implementing programmes that have the highest impact on Africa’s’ growth and development so as to deliver on the vision of Agenda 2063.
Recently elected in August 2017 President Paul Kagame has a lot to take care of in the African continent this year. Aside corruption there are so many issues that he needs to address, some of them are listed below;
- Insecurity: It has become the order of the day in Africa, last year 2017 so many people lost their lives because of urban crime, terrorist groups like Al-Shaabab and Boko-Haram; the most targeted last year has been Somalia and Nigeria, civil wars in South Sudan and political instability in Libya, DRC, Cameroon (the Anglophone crisis), Togo and Somalia, the examples are continuous.
- Natural disasters: Weather patterns continue to be a challenge to the continent, from droughts which cause farming, heavy rainfalls which lead to mudslides and floods; so many died in Sierra Leone as a result of a mudslide in 2017.
- Poor Governance, according to the African Exponent in April 2017, African countries have undergone two forms of governance liberation, yet remain stuck in the middle of a third one. First, it was the struggle for independence from the colonial rule then liberation from dictatorships that merged from independence. Now, many African countries are facing a struggle of getting proper democratic governance. In several countries, incumbent long serving political leaders have found ways to manipulate the electoral process, all of these affect Healthcare, security, political stability, and development projects.
- Unemployment and poverty: unemployment is not new to the world, but Africa’s case is alarming. Why is this so? Most governments do not invest in youths. Even if youths succeed to have jobs they are often exploited and they are paid very little in return after overworking themselves. After spending so many years in school and so much money invested on education, they end up jobless. The result of this is a high level of poverty in the African continent.
As President Paul Kagame takes over from his predecessor Alpha Conde, which many have criticized for not doing anything for the African Continent, African citizens are calling on the Rwandan strongman to make sure solutions brought up for this problems are not only written on scripts of papers and stored up in databases but implemented.