'Forty African leaders are attending 18th AU summit'

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Some 40 Heads of State and Government are participating in the 18th African Union (AU) summit which opened Sunday in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, with the President of the National Conference of the Chinese People's Consultative Political Conference (CPPCC), Jia Qinglin, attending as special guest.  

The summit, whose theme is strengthening intra-African trade, is also attended by Presidents of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, the South African Jacob Zuma, the Nigerian Goodluck Jonathan, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh, South Sudanese Salva Kir, the Tunisian Marzouki and Libyan Prime Minister, Abdul Rahim Al-Kaeb.

Also present at the summit are the Ivorian leader, Alassane Ouattara, Idriss Deby of Chad,  Central African Republic’s Francois Bozize, Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Guinea’s Alpha Conde, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Gabon’s Ali Bongo, Ghana's John Atta Mills, Somali Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe.

Cape Verdean Jorge Carlos Fonseca and Zambia’s Michael Sata are participating for the first time.

The summit, which is being held in the brand new premises offered by China to the AU, is marked by absence of Algerian Abdel Aziz Boteflika, Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Mauritanian Mohamed Abdel Aziz and Congo’s Joseph Kabila.

Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure and Senegalese Abdoulaye Wade, facing internal crisis in their countries, are also not present at the summit which will focus special attention to infrastructural development in Africa.

The summit, continuing behind closed doors, will also have as key issue the appointment of a new Chairman of the AU Commission for the next four years.

Two candidates -- incumbent Jean Ping and the former South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, NKosozana Dlamini-Zuma -- are vying for the position.

The summit is also expected to discuss the report of the Congolese president, Denis Nguesso Sasssou, on the participation of Africa at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, called (Rio  20).

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is expected to present a report on the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held from 29 November to 1 December in South Korea.

Talks will then focus on the report of the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, also president of the "Committee of Ten" on UN reform, the Habré case and the transformation of the African Union Commission into an AU Authority.

The Heads of State will adopt on Monday, at the end of their deliberation, decisions and recommendations prepared by the AU Executive Council held 26-28 January in the Ethiopian capital.
-0- PANA SEI/JSG/JEN/VAO 29Jan2012

29 Janeiro 2012 12:50:45

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