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U.S. President on historic visit to the African Union

U.S. President on historic visit to the African Union

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 24 July 2015: The President of the United States of America Barack Obama will on Tuesday 28 July 2015, pay an official visit to the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. President Obama will be the first U.S. President to ever visit the African Union.

Upon arriving to the AU Headquarters, President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with the African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Commissioners.

President Obama is also due to deliver a speech to the continent from the Nelson Mandela Hall at the AU Conference Centre, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"This is an historic visit to the African Union. And it will be my great pleasure to welcome President Barack Obama to the AU." Said the AU Commission Chairperson on the eve of the visit, adding that "it is also another concrete step to broaden and deepen the relationship between the AU and the US."

During the visit, the AU Commission Chairperson will take the opportunity to present Africa's priority areas as articulated in the Agenda 2063 framework document and the 10-year implementation plan, aimed at achieving Africa's vision for prosperity, integration and peace.

Pledging his support to strengthen Africa-US relations President Obama had told AU the Commission when they met on 29 June 2013, in South Africa:

"We stand ready and eager to work with the African Union for the best engagement of the United States with Africa. If there is a strong African Union, any help that is provided by the US becomes more effective than us doing things on our own."

The visit will offer the opportunity for both Dr. Dlamini Zuma and President Obama to further the discussions held in June 2013 in South Africa, and during the U.S.-Africa Summit in August 2014 in Washington DC.

Among the important issues will be skills revolution to provide the youth with employment opportunities; industrialization and infrastructiural development and agro-processing.

In addition, expected to feature in both the bilateral and the speeches are issues around, but not limited to, education, youth and women's empowerment, trade, investment, and peace and security, particularly the fight against terrorism and extremism.

The AU Commission will also be engaging and discussing with a delegation of Senators and Congressmen travelling with the U.S. President.

President Obama will be arriving to Ethiopia after participating and speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

Previous visits of President Barack Obama to Africa include: Egypt in June 2009, Ghana in July 2009, South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania in 2013.