TALES FROM ADDIS ABABA

By: Samuella Aboagye and Kwesi Amoak

Introduction
From 4th to 11th February, 2019, Mpuntusem was present in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a team of 7, sponsored by the Oxfam Pan-Africa office to document the 32nd Summit of the African Union and some side events, notably the 8th Citizens Conference, the Katowice Protocol Climate Change event and Empowering Women in Agriculture (EWA) High Level Breakfast meeting.

8TH CITIZENS CONFERENCE
The 8th Citizen’s conference held form the 4th to 7th of February 2019 in Addis Ababa with the theme “Where is the Africa we want” which factored a number of discussions on gender inequality, issues concerning internally displaced persons in Africa and refugees based on the citizen’s perspectives. The four day conference also had a number of speakers from different organizations and Oxfam to speak on other issues.The 8th CCC was organized on the margins of the African Union (AU) Summit since 2007 and it provides a platform for debate and dialogue, consensus building and fostering interaction for African citizens to constructively engage in decision-making processes at the continental level.


Oxfam PAP participants at the lobby of Azeman Hotel for a brief meeting before the conference

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Participants on their way to the conference held at Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa

Discussions amongst the participants and submissions by speakers

With 2019 being designated as the AU Year for Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), themed “Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”, the 8th CCC focused on articulating positions and re-strategizing on opportunities for civic groups to engage seeing that the year marks the 50th Anniversary and 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the OAU Convention and IDP Convention respectively.

Presentations from various speakers

Some participants giving their contributions and a photo session to end the four-day event

32ND AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT

The African Union (AU) Assembly, which comprises of the Heads of State and Government of all the 55 African countries, began its 32nd ordinary session on the 9th to 10th of February 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Assembly meeting commenced with the Union’s statutory meetings and was preceded by the meetings of the Executive Council and the Permanent Representatives Committee. The meetings reflected the theme of the AU for 2019, that is, “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.”

The speakers at the Summit included, H.E Paul Kagame, president of the republic of Rwanda and chairperson of the African Union, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the commission of the African Union , Mr Bill Gates , Bill and Melinda Gates foundation,  Mr Gianni Infantino,president of FIFA, Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director General of WHO and H.E Ahmed Aboul Geit, Secretary General of the League of Arab states. 

Among the duties of the Assembly is to determine the AU’s policies, establish its priorities, adopt its annual programs and monitor the implementation of its policies and decisions. In this regard, the Heads of State and Government, over their two day meeting, received several reports including report on the Outcome of the Leadership In Health Financing Funds High Level Meeting and other feedbacks from the various press conferences on the different already implemented and in coming projects across Africa.

The Summit held under the 2019 theme; “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced displacement in Africa” and it ended on the 10th of february with a closing ceremony and a few closed session meetings with some of the Heads of States and other members of the AU.

Mpuntusem livestreamed from the AU HQ a number of meetings, press briefings and unveiling of the statue of Emperor Haile Salasie.

CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

A High-Level Climate Change event on the Margins of the AU Summit was held at the conference room of UNECA on Friday, 8th February, 2019. It was on the theme; THE KATOWICE CLIMATE PACKAGE: THE IMPLICATIONS OF COP24 OTCOMES ON RESPONDING TO CLIMATE- INDUCED HUMAN INSECURITY IN AFRICA. Speakers included Mr. Seth Osafo, the Legal Adviser to the African Negotiators at the UN Climate Negotiations.

Some photos from the session

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE (EWA) HIGH LEVEL BREAKFAST MEETING

This event was held on Saturday, 9th February, 2019 at the Radison Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa. Our Executive Director, Kwesi Amoak was the rapporteur for the event.

A group photo of participants
H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, patron of EWA was the special guest
Madam Bineta Diop is the Founder and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), the organizers of the EWA Breakfast meeting.

Some of the participants

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