According to the PRC agenda for the 18th AU Summit, the Ambassadors will for two days (23 and 24 January 2012) exchange views on specific reports including the reports of the sub-committees on structures; multilateral cooperation; contributions; economic and trade matters; the report on NEPAD as well as that of the Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa (SEAF). They will consider the working documents and draft decisions in preparation of the 20th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council. On the other hand, the 20th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council will hold from 26 to 27 January at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa. The Ministers of External Affairs and other ministers or authorities designated by the governments of Member States will deliberate on the different reports of the ministerial meetings organized by the AU Commission during the last six months. They will consider the activity report of the Commission; the recommendations of the PRC on the implementation of previous Decisions of the Executive Council and the Assembly; and the report of the ministerial committee on candidatures.
The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union is scheduled to take place on 29 and 30 January 2012. One of the high moments of the AU Summit will be the inauguration of the New African Union Conference Center on 28 January 2012 in the presence of all the Heads of State and Government present for the Summit.
The opening ceremony on 29 January 2012 of the Assembly will also pay tribute to the memory of the late Prof. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Presiding Officer of the ECOSOCC of the African Union and the late Mrs. Elisabeth Tankeu, AU Commissioner for Trade & Industry.
During their meeting, the AU Heads of States and Government will consider the recommendations of the Executive Council on the report of the Commission on the implementation of previous Decisions of the Executive Council and the Assembly; the report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the state of peace and security in Africa, including the activities of the Panel of the Wise; the report of Mr. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Ethiopia and Chairperson of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC); and his report on Africa’s preparation for the 17th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 17), that took place in Durban, South Africa, 28 November – 9 December 2011.
Election of Members of the AU Commission:
Given that the current bureau of the AU Commission is coming to the end of its four year mandate in January 2012, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the their 18th Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will elect the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and that of the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission. The Executive Council will elect the Commissioners of the African Union; ten members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) and one judge of the AU Ad-hoc Administrative Tribunal.
Ethiopia and other member countries are up in an internal tussle for the grab of some of the positions in the new Commission. Addis Fortune gossiped the following in its last week issue:
Historically backed by countries in Central Africa and East Africa, Ping has every intention to run for second term. He has a fellow countryman as an Ambassador of Gabon based in Addis Abeba, Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, who has been aggressively lobbying on his behalf, disclosed gossip.Ping’s historical opponents come from Southern African countries, spearheaded by the richest nation on the continent. Partly upset with the AU’s customary blank check certifications of elections in Africa and more so by the one recently held in the DR of Congo, Zuma appears determined to see that Ping will not stay far too long in Addis Abeba, claims gossip. He brought forward his former wife, Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, who was South Africa’s minister of Health, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs, to challenge Ping in the bid for commissioner.One of the historical backers of Ping is Ethiopia’s Prime Minister. Also, bear in mind that Gabon, where Ping had served as a foreign minister, has done the bidding of Ethiopia, after being one of the two countries introducing a resolution to the United Nations Security Council, to sanction Eritrea.Ethiopian diplomats have been very busy in pushing names for the AU’s position, forwarding their own too, gossip disclosed. After all, this is an institution where the late Kifle Wodajo was founding chairman, although in an acting position. They want to see, now, Teshome Toga, Ethiopia’s ambassador to France, replace the Kenyan Erastus J. O. Mwencha as deputy commissioner of the Africa Union Commission (AUC), claims gossip. They are as keener to see Konjit Senegiorgis, currently permanent representative of Ethiopia to the AU and ECA, hold a position as one of the 10 directorates, perhaps either in political affairs or in the most powerful, peace and security, which is currently held by the Algerian Ramtan Lamamra.