Guinea-Bissau President Begins Official Visit to Ethiopia ahead AU Leaders’ Summit

ADDIS ABABA – The President of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embaló has begun a two-day state visit to Ethiopia today while more African leaders arrive for the African Union leaders’ summit.

President Embaló was received by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in an official welcoming ceremony at Bole International Airport.

Embaló began the official visit to Ethiopia ahead of the 36th ordinary session of the African Union heads of state and government assembly set for February 18-19.

AU’s supreme policy and decision-making organ will convene under the theme, “the Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation”.

Leaders of AU member states have already begun arriving in Addis Ababa where the Ordinary Session will be hold over the weekend.

President Comoros Azali Assoumani was among the first leaders to arrive in Addis Ababa. Assoumani will replace Senegalese President Macky Sall as chair of the African Union for the year 2023.

Other leaders who came to Ethiopia for the summit are Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio, and Burundi’s President Évariste Ndayishimiye.

The leaders, AU said, “will sit to consider 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.”

The Assembly will deal with progress reports on institutional reforms of the AU; state of peace and security in Africa; global political, financial and energy policy governance and the food crisis; the AfCFTA; and Climate change.

The summit will also give final decisions on various draft legal instruments, as per AU.

Among these drafts are the AfCFTA Protocol on Competition Policy, statute of the African Humanitarian Agency, the Protocol on Investment to the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and the Protocol on Intellectual Property Rights to the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA.

The assembly is expected to appoint the Director General of Africa CDC and one member of the AU Board of External Auditors.

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