The African Union, which was formed 20 years ago to promote international cooperation, has made few decisive decisions in the face of coups or attempted coups in Africa over the past 18 months, while the seizure of power is high on the summit agenda.
While the union moved to suspend Burkina Faso and Mali after military coups, it is not clear if this has any effect on the new leaders.
At the opening session, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, told the leaders that the security situation in Africa required the bloc to take a new approach, and called for “more effective African solidarity”.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the leaders via a video link and renewed his calls for a ceasefire in the Ethiopian conflict that erupted in November 2020 and claimed thousands of lives.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed used his speech to call for Africa’s permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
He urged the African Union to set up a continental media center to counter the “negative media representation of Africa”.
In addition, the summit agenda includes the efforts of the African Union to combat the “Covid-19” epidemic.