DR Congo's Tshisekedi formally assumes AU Chair role
African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. /VCG Photo

African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. /VCG Photo

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has officially taken over from his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa as the African Union Chairperson for the period 2021-2022.

Tshisekedi formally took the seat at the virtual 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU. He is however present physically in Addis Ababa for the meetings.

"It is an immense honor that all African States have done to my country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to me, by granting it the presidency of our continental organization," he said.

"I appreciate the immensity of the task which I accept in all humility to assume, with your constant support, the appreciable assistance of all the members of the Bureau and the permanent availability of the Commission of our organization."

As he accepted his new role, Tshisekedi noted that he will also add another theme on to that officially stated by the AU.

The DR Congo president said he would base his AU Chairmanship on honoring the memory of all Pan-Africanists.

The additional theme of his presidency will be: "an African Union at the service of the peoples."

The new AU Chairperson gave a four-point list on what his tenure will focus on during the next 12 months. These are;

Strengthen peace and security; pursue the realization of the ZLECAF;

Promote a renaissance of African culture, arts and heritage; – fight against climate change;

Accelerate integrative projects, among others: the construction of the large Inga dam;

Consolidate the AU's initiative in the fight against Covid-19 and in the prevention against other diseases.

Tshisekedi acknowledged the challenges that his tenure will face, including the COVID-19 pandemic. He however noted that with unity, the continental bloc would achieve its objectives.

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