US sends strong delegation to African Union summit in Addis
Thursday February 16 2023
The US is sending a strong delegation of special envoys to Addis Ababa this week for the annual African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital, as it seeks role in the continent’s matters.
The Department of State announced on Tuesday that the delegation will “meet with stakeholders to discuss the global food security crisis and its disproportionate impact on Africa, as well as to follow up on US commitments made at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit”.
The US gathered African leaders in December last year in Washington for a summit that sought to improve partnerships.
The Delegation is led by Molly Phee, the US assistant secretary for Africa, and former US ambassador to Kenya Johnnie Carson, now the Special Presidential Representative for US-Africa Leaders’ Summit Implementation. Others include US Special Envoy for Global Food Security Cary Fowler, USAid Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Africa Monde Muyangwa, acting USAid Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau of Resilience and Food Security Dina Esposito, and US Global Aids Coordinator and Special Representative for Health Diplomacy John Nkengasong. Dr Nkengasong was until last year the director for the Africa Union Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC), the AU’s public health agency.
“The US delegation will reinforce US commitment to advance food security and highlight the ongoing work through the US government’s Feed the Future initiative, and efforts to scale up work on climate-resilient agriculture and soil health, including upcoming work on the “Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils” (VACS),” a statement said.
Heads of state and government of AU member states are gathering in Addis Ababa as the continental body marks 20 years since it was re-formed from the old Organisation of African Unity (OAU). According to the programme, leaders will be meeting under the theme ‘The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’.
But the Assembly of Heads of State and Government will also look into continual problems “and make far-reaching decisions on various political and socio-economic areas to promote and advance the welfare and quality of life for the African citizenry”, according to the programme.
Some of the issues will fall under the institutional reforms of the African Union, peace and security and the missed deadline to silence guns, global financial and energy issues and the food crisis, response to Covid-19, climate change and Agenda 2063.