African leaders at the opening of AU summit

President Yoweri Museveni is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 18th African Union summit which opened on Sunday with 40 heads of state and government attending.

The summit opened with the selection of Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi as AU chairman for the coming year. The opening speeches reflected Africa’s increasing shift toward the East.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Chinese government representatives are also official guests.

China is the honored guest at this summit, and the opening session was filled expressions of gratitude for Beijing’s gift of a new $200-million AU headquarters.

Speakers referred to China’s rising influence in Africa, and to the continent’s growing resentment at what is widely perceived as Western interference in African affairs.

New leaders from Tunisia, Libya and South Sudan are among the delegates at the first annual summit of the continental after the Arab Spring.

Libyan interim Prime Minister Abderrahim el-Keib also called on African leaders to help stabilise his country, which he said was fully liberated after 40 years of “kidnapping.”

The Chinese government, which funded the new US$200m AU headquarters, vowed to continue its partnerships with Africa based on mutual interests.

China is the honored guest at this summit, and the opening session was filled expressions of gratitude for Beijing’s gift of a new $200-million AU headquarters.

Speakers referred to China’s rising influence in Africa, and to the continent’s growing resentment at what is widely perceived as Western interference in African affairs.

Source The New Vision

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