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Pan-African bloc holds handover ceremony
between outgoing and incoming leadership 

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Tuesday held a handover ceremony between the outgoing and incoming commission at the headquarters of the 55-member pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The AU heads of states in January 2017 elected new officials including chairperson and deputy chairperson of the AU Commission as well as commissioners who will be serving a four-year term at office.

At the 28th AU summit on the 30th of January this year here in Addis Ababa, African leaders elected Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad, as Chairperson of the AU Commission, and Ghanaian Thomas Kwesi Quartey, as Deputy Chairperson of the Commission.

Smail Chergui from Algeria was elected Commissioner for Peace and Security, Minata Cessouma Samate of Burkina Faso, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Amani Abou-Zeid of Egypt, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil of Sudan, Commissioner for Social Affairs, Albert M. Muchanga from Zambia, Commissioner for Trade and Industry, and Correa Leonel Josefa Sacko of Angola, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, the outgoing chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa, has commended all parties who have contributed support to and cooperation with the outgoing commission.

“It has indeed been a humbling privilege to serve the people of the continent in the capacity as Chairperson of the AU Commission,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

“We thank the AU Partners Group and our international partners and governments, who worked with us towards building a better world for all. I am also very encouraged with the cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations over these last four and a half years. To this effect, we have agreed to work together on a single monitoring and reporting mechanism on Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

Stating that he has assumed the position at a time when Africa is facing multifaceted challenges, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the incoming Chairperson of the AU Commission, has expressed his commitment and determination to serve at best to meet expectations of African peoples.

He stated that the continent is facing many and multifaceted challenges, including among others, scourge of conflict, growing threat of radicalism, persistent poverty, underdevelopment, and environmental deterioration.

The incoming chairperson has stated that his priorities focus on areas, including among others, the reform at the AU Commission, peace and security, issues of women and youth, Africa’s economic integration, and strengthening and enhancing the place of Africa in the international scene.

Reiterating his commitment to speed up the transformation of Africa, the new chairperson has called for commitment and support from AU member states in the implementation of programs and plans of the identified priority areas.

“I would like to mention very briefly the priorities that I want to deal with, with the assistance of everybody, to reform the structure of our common house, simplifies procedures, improves its effectiveness and efficiency in order to make the commission a tool that is capable of furthering and translating into deeds the vision of our leaders and aspirations of peoples; to silence the guns and also to have an Africa which has rid itself off conflicts by 2020 remains the medium term objective and my vision will be focused include to that; and to raise the women and youth, to give them the rightful place for the promotion of peace, development and African renaissance,” he said.

He said he would work to strengthen partnership with UN and other international partners.  

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