Envoys of African countries gathered for the 41st Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) have called for continuous anti-pandemic efforts and institutional reform.
Edward Xolisa Makaya, the current PRC chairperson, also ambassador of the Republic of South Africa, commended in his opening remarks on Wednesday the efforts made by the Bureau of the AU Assembly, the Commission and the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to help the African continent to fight COVID-19.
“Notwithstanding COVID-19, Africa showed incredible determination by conducting and concluding virtual negotiations on complex and difficult matters of the AfCFTA (the African Continental Free Trade Agreement), leading to the successful Johannesburg Extraordinary Summit on Dec. 6, 2020.
It is absolutely important to work to implement all the decisions taken at the Summit,” the PRC chairperson said.
Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, addressing the envoys in his opening remarks, underscored the need for the PRC to put optimal proposals that should support the smooth transition from the old structure of the Commission to the new one.
Mahamat said that the AU’s theme of the year 2021, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want,” is an important one which goes hand in hand with the whole movement for the institutional reform of the Union, “as culture is the main marker of identity and through it we know who we really are.”
The ambassadors, during their two-day session, deliberated on different reports which include those of the activities of the PRC Sub-Committees, the Specialized Technical Committees held in the year 2020, the AU Commission, other AU Organs and the AU Specialized Agencies.
The ambassadors of the AU member states and officials of the 55-member pan-African bloc also discussed draft reports and prepared the agenda for the 38th ordinary session of the AU Executive Council, which comprises foreign ministers of member states, scheduled to take place on Feb. 3-5.