President Uhuru Kenyatta travels to Ethiopia for AU summit

Friday January 29 2016

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his deputy

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his deputy William Ruto at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on January 29, 2016. The President travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the African Union summit. PHOTO | PSCU 

By PSCU
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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday morning travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the African Union (AU) summit.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who will attend the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS that takes place on the sidelines of the AU summit.

The plane carrying the President and his entourage departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly before 11am.

Deputy President William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe led senior government officials in seeing off the President.

Earlier at the airport, President Kenyatta bid farewell to his Nigeria counterpart Muhammadu Buhari, who was in the country for a three-day state visit.

During his visit to Kenya, the Nigerian president, who is also heading to Addis Ababa for AU summit, held bilateral talks with President Kenyatta.

The two leaders pledged to work together to make Africa a better place for present and future generations.

They agreed to join hands in addressing the challenges facing Nigeria and Kenya, including corruption, terrorism and radicalization, which they called “obstacles to development”.

The AU is holding the 26th Ordinary Session of the AU General Assembly for Heads of State and Government this Saturday.

At the summit, the heads of state and government are expected to appoint the Bureau and Drafting Committee for 2016 and discuss strategic issues such as financing the African Union, governance, elections and constitutionalism.

TERRORISM

African leaders are also set to launch the "African Year of Human Rights", with a particular focus on women’s rights, consider reports and draft decisions of the committees of the African Union and adopt decisions and declarations of the Assembly of the African Union.

President Kenyatta, who is leading the Kenyan delegation at the summit, is expected to voice Kenya’s position on a number of issues at the continental level.

While in Addis Ababa, the President will also attend the Meeting of the Committee of Ten (C10) on the United Nations reforms.

The C10 is an initiative of the African Union to accelerate United Nations reforms, particularly in the Security Council.

The meeting will play an important role in intensifying efforts to promote the Common African Position on UN reform as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

President Kenyatta will also chair the 24th Summit of the Heads of State and Government participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The President, who is the current chairman of the APRM, will lead deliberations at the summit, whose theme is "Revitalizing the APRM to strengthen Governance in Africa".

President Kenyatta will also attend a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

The meeting will focus on the issue of terrorism in Africa and review developments in South Sudan and Somalia.

It will providel an opportunity for the heads of state and government to reflect on terrorism in Africa, with a view to enhancing Africa’s efforts against the menace.

They will also review the situation in South Sudan, in light of the developments in that country.