President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea has been elected as the new Chairman of the African Union.
He succeeds President Idriss Deby of Republic of Chad,
His election was conducted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, during their 28th Ordinary Session holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chairperson of the AU is the ceremonial head of the Union.
He or she is elected by the Assembly of Heads of State for a one-year term.
The post rotates annually amongst the five geographic regions of Africa; and over the years it has assumed the following order: East, North, Southern, Central and West Africa.
In 2002, South African President Thabo Mbeki served as the inaugural chairman of the union.
The Chairperson in his acceptance speech said his focus would be on the unity of the continent and solidarity among the leaders which is the legacy of the founding fathers of the Union.
Conde said access to modern energy would be a major priority adding that he would also develop a roadmap for energy , which is key to industrialisation.
He called on the member states to work towards achieving the renewed commitment announced at the end of the 27th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Kigali where African leaders adopted the Agenda 2063.
Among the major decisions made is the adoption of a new funding model for the AUC, which will see all the 54 member countries contribute some 1.2 billion dollars to the Union’s coffers every year through levying 0.2 per cent tax on eligible imports.
The funds will be directly sent to the AU secretariat, which would use it in financing operational costs as well as development programmes and peace support operations.
Earlier, it had been observed that overreliance on foreign aid meant that that the continent often intervened too late in conflict-torn regions while the continent also had little influence on the nature and extent of intervention.
He said that the funds will be directly sent to the AU secretariat, which would use it in financing operational costs as well as development programmes and peace support operations.
He called on the leadership to remain indivisible and independent as well showing proper Africanism to keep the flame of hope of the founding father on value of solidarity and unity.
He appealed to the UN secretary General to support the course of Africa at the UN.
During the hand over ceremony, Deby thanked his pairs and his country for the opportunity given him to serve.
He commended the AU Commission under the leadership of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for the good work in pursuing the transformation reforms under Agenda 2063 and for the support they gave to his team.
He urged the members to support the incoming Chairperson in addressing the challenges of the continent which include terrorism, crisis in South Sudan, Libya and Central African Region.