Ahead of 28th African Union Summit, President Sirleaf Arrives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Attend Events with UN Secretary and AU Heads of State

Sunday, 29th January 2017

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-Sunday, January 29, 2017:President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and delegation on Saturday arrived in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa to attend the 28th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government. The Summit is held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividends through Investing in Youths”.

According to a dispatch from Addis Ababa, the ECOWAS Chairperson was received at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by ranking officials of the African Union Commission and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia at about 8:35 Addis Ababa time.
On Sunday, the Liberia leader joined fellow Heads of State at a Working Breakfast with the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa. Talks at the Working Breakfast were centered on improving collaboration, coordination and partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.

The leaders of the continent also discussed with the new Secretary General on how to derive joint approaches on global issues with emphasis on matters that effect the African continent. The Working Breakfast gathering also commended President Sirleaf and ECOWAS for effectively handling the Gambian political crisis in a peaceful manner.

On Security Council matters, the African leaders and the new UN Secretary General agreed to work together in ensuring reform of the Security Council and particularly for the allotment of a seat on the Council to Africa.

Also on Sunday, the Heads of States and Government of the African Union Authority gathered for a closed door Heads of State and Government of the AU Retreat that lasted for hours in preparation for the formal opening of the 28th Ordinary Summit on Monday. This year’s summit will consider the election of a new Chairperson of the African Union Commission as the tenure of the current Chairperson comes to an end. Five candidates from Botswana, Kenya, and Senegal among other are contesting for the top African Union Commission post.

The current Chairperson of the Commission, Nkosazana Dlamani Zuma was elected to chair the African Union Commission in 2013. Her leadership has seen transformation both in the operation of the commission and outlook of the infrastructures at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia.

Thus far, President Sirleaf has held discussions with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the Chairperson and other officials of the ECOWAS Commission, representatives of partners and donors, among others.

President Sirleaf and delegation will on Sunday evening honor a dinner by the Liberian Ambassador to Ethiopia, George Patten.