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Delegates pose for a group photo after the opening session of the Executive Council of Ministers of African Union meeting in Kigali. Timothy Kisambira.

A lot is expected as South Africa is to assume the African Union chairship in 2020.

Philani Mthembu,the executive director of South Africa’s think tank Institute for Global Dialogue, told Xinhua that the country is expected to lead the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

He pointed out that it is significant that South Africa would be chair when the AfCFTA becomes effective on July 1, 2020. The country would be expected to show leadership in the rolling on of the agreement.

South Africa is currently chairing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Mthembu said the government is expected to bring together UN and AU in peace keeping in the continent.

“It would give the country an opportunity to bring closer cooperation between the UNSC and the AU so that the later can lead in peace keeping and ensure there are enough resources for that. I expect South Africa to continue with some of the issues highlighted this year including women and peace building,” he said.

” The UNSC and AU chair will give the country an opportunity and ability to regain footing in the international diplomacy. Africa also have to stamp out illicit financial outflow so that the money could be used in some of the continent’s institution and development in the Africa,” said Mthembu.

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor recently told Xinhua that the government will focus on prevent conflicts from happening as opposed to conflict resolution. They will also focus on peace and security, AfCFTA and economic growth and development.

While addressing the women conference recently in Johannesburg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pointed out that they will continue the work of their predecessor after taking over the AU chairship.

“We will continue to focus on continental issues like silencing the guns, economic development and empowering women,” said the president.

Last Week the AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat met Ramaphosa and discussed the the continental body chairship. Mahamat said the continent faces the challenges of terrorism and transnational crimes which South Africa have to handle.

Mahamat said, “We hope it will take us a step further in the implementation of our programs. With the leadership of President Ramaphosa, we want implementation of this Agenda 2063, at the political level, at the peace and security level and the level of social and economic development and also trade for the continent.” Enditem

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