The 31st ordinary summit of the African Union is underway in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital. The meeting under the theme “winning the fight against corruption: a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation’‘, has some forty African heads of state in attendance.
Leaders will discuss crisis on the continent including the civil war in South Sudan and the Western Sahara.
“Africa loses at least $50 billion a year to illicit flows. It is clear that retaining these resources on the continent would greatly help finance its development. We must go beyond incantations to demonstrate our commitment to fighting corruption by leapfrogging action and concrete action”, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission.
We must go beyond incantations to demonstrate our commitment to fighting corruption by leapfrogging action and concrete action.
But the exodus of thousands of Africans, mainly to Europe, is not on the official agenda. At the heart of discussions are the institutional reform of the AU aimed at guaranteeing the financial autonomy of the organisation, the free trade area and the flagship project of the AU’s 2063 agenda.
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is Mauritanian’s foreign Affairs minister.
“Forty African states have signed the agreement to create a continental free trade area. We expect this zone to have a positive impact on Africa as it will contribute to the strengthening of trade and the free movement of people and goods for the benefit of African populations’‘, Ahmed said.
French President Emmanuel Macron is also attending the summit. He is expected to engage his G5 Sahel partners on the slow rise of the joint force set up by the AU to fight jihadists.