AU to boost intra-Africa trade

20th African Union Summit

The African Union (AU) 20th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Governments has considered the boosting of intra-Africa trade and the establishment of a continental free-trade area, among other critical issues.

The two-day summit, which closed yesterday, attracted several heads of State and Governments, including President Sata.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Christine Kaseba, Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba, Minister of Education John Phiri and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Effron Lungu.

Dr Kaseba attended the Organisation of African First Ladies on the sidelines of the AU summit.

President Sata, who is expected back in the country today, also attended some closed sessions with other heads of State, to discuss pertinent issues affecting Africa.

Mr Sata also held a closed-door meeting with the president of the 67th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Juk Jeremic.

The issues the summit tackled include peace and security, governance and climate change.

The sessions on Sunday were preceded by dinner hosted in honour of heads of State and Government by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at the Addis Sheraton Hotel.

And the closed session yesterday considered the progress report of the Commission on the Transformation of the African Union Commission into the African Union Authority.

The summit also considered the progress report on preparations for the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the forerunner to the AU.

Other issues include the consideration of legal instruments as recommended by the Executive Council and Ministers of Justice and Attorney General Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, and the Draft Protocol to the Consultative Act of the AU, relating to the Pan-African Parliament.