The African Union (AU) summit from February 17 to the 19, is set to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the continent. Under the theme “Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation”, the summit will bring together leaders from across the continent to discuss ways to address the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deepening security and food crises are among the issues that will dominate discussions at the summit, along with trade, healthcare, and climate change. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these key issues and what they mean for Africa’s future.
The Security Crisis in AfricaThe security situation in various parts of Africa has been deteriorating for years, with conflict and violence leading to displacement and instability. According to news reports, the security crisis is expected to be a key topic of discussion at the summit, with leaders exploring ways to strengthen security measures, peacekeeping efforts, and conflict resolution.
The ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is likely to be a particular focus of attention. The conflict, which began in November 2020, has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and left many in need of humanitarian assistance. Leaders at the summit will discuss ways to support conflict resolution and help the people affected by the conflict.
The Food Crisis in Africa
Food security is another major concern for the AU leaders. African countries are grappling with rising food prices, poor harvests, and food shortages, all of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders at the summit will discuss ways to improve agricultural productivity, promote sustainable farming practices, and increase food distribution to vulnerable communities.
Trade and Economic Cooperation
Trade and economic cooperation are among the top priorities for leaders at the summit. African countries have long struggled to achieve economic growth and development, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse. Leaders will discuss ways to promote regional integration, increase intra-African trade, and boost economic growth.
Healthcare in Africa
The ongoing fight against COVID-19 is also a key topic of discussion at the summit. Leaders will explore ways to strengthen healthcare systems and increase vaccine distribution, in line with the African Union’s goal to vaccinate 60% of the continent’s population by the end of 2023. This is a critical goal, as the pandemic has highlighted the need for strong healthcare systems and adequate access to medical care across the continent.
Climate Change in Africa
Finally, the summit will address the issue of climate change, which is a growing concern for Africa’s future. African countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including droughts, floods, and extreme weather events. Leaders will discuss ways to mitigate the effects of climate change and promote sustainable development.
The African Union summit on February 17 is a critical event for the continent, as leaders come together to address the challenges facing Africa. From the security crisis to the food crisis, trade, healthcare, and climate change, there are many issues on the table. By working together and finding solutions, African leaders can build a more resilient and prosperous future for the continent and its people. As we continue to follow the discussions and outcomes of the summit, it’s clear that these issues will remain at the forefront of the continent’s political landscape in the years to come.