28th AU Summit kicks off in Addis Abeba

The 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) kicks off today (January 30) in Addis Ababa under the theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth".
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union opening the two-day session noted the importance of making 2017 as the year of the youth since the continent comprises 200 million young men and women ages between 15 to 24 years. To harness the demographic dividend,Dr. Dlamini-Zuma underscored the need to firstly provide Africa's
youth with opportunities to expand their knowledge of science, mathematics, engineering and technology and to close the gap between industry and educational systems. She also noted that the Union will this year appoint a Special Au Envoy for Youth with the objective to mobilize and advocate for the youth.
The newly appointed United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres addressing the opening session of the assembly underscored the urgency to put UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa's Agenda 2063 in perfect sync; elevate the level of the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU; and enhance the UN's partnership with Africa's eight Regional Economic Communities. The Secretary-General congratulating the
assembly for designating 2017 as the year of "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth" affirmed that the UN system stands committed to support Africa's effort in this regard to harness the potential for greater benefit of the youth of Africa. He also noted that the UN will intensify cooperation and coordination to reinforce the nexus between peace, security and development.
Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea and incoming Chairperson of the AU gave an acceptance statement to the summit. The two–day sessions of the AU Assembly will proceed in the elections of the following AUC leadership: election of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and election of the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.