African Development Bank approves $27.33 million to ramp up the African Union’s COVID-19 Response Initiative

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors ( on Wednesday approved $27.33 million in grants to boost the African Union’s (AU) efforts to mobilize a continental response to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

The approval follows a meeting of the extended Bureau of the Conference of Heads of State and Government with Africa’s private sector on 22 April 2020, chaired by H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and chairperson of the AU, at which the Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, pledged strong support for the AU’s COVID-19 initiative. 

The AU Bureau meeting called for contributions to the African Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund established by the AU Commission chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in March 2020.

Speaking after the Board approval of this operation, President Adesina said: “with this financing package, we are reaffirming our strong commitment to a coordinated African response in the face of COVID-19. Most importantly, we are sending a strong signal that collectively, the continent can address the pandemic, which is straining health systems and causing unprecedented socio-economic impacts on the continent.”

The Bank’s grant financing will support the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in providing technical assistance and building capacity for 37 African Development Fund (ADF) eligible countries, particularly the Transition States, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact. The ADF is the Bank’s concessional window.

Sourced from the ADF’s Regional Operations/Regional Public Goods envelope and the Transition Support Facility, these two grants will support the implementation of Africa CDC’s COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan through strengthening surveillance at various points of entry (air, sea, and land) in African countries; building sub-regional and national capacity for epidemiological surveillance; and ensuring the availability of testing materials and personal protective equipment for frontline workers deployed in hotspots. The operation will also facilitate collection of gender-disaggregated data and adequate staffing for Africa CDC’s emergency operations center. 

At the beginning of February 2020, only two reference laboratories—in Senegal and in South Africa—could run tests for COVID-19 on the continent. The Africa CDC, working with governments, the World Health Organization, and several development partners and public health institutes, have increased this capacity to 44 countries currently. Despite this progress, Africa’s testing capacity remains low, with the 37 ADF-eligible countries accounting for only 40% of completed COVID-19 tests to date.

“Our response today and support to the African Union is timely and will play a crucial role in helping Africa look inward for solutions to build resilience to this pandemic and future outbreaks,” said Ms. Wambui Gichuri, Ag. Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

This support will complement various national and sub-regional operations financed by the African Development Bank under its COVID-19 Response Facility to support African countries to contain and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

Sudanese stakeholders urged to fully cooperate with the AU Mission for consensual and civilian-led transition

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat has called on all the Sudanese stakeholders to fully cooperate with the African Union Mission for consensual and civilian-led transition.

He renews his appeal to the international partners to fully support the work of the Mission.

Following the visit he undertook to Khartoum on 20 and 21 April 2019 and pursuant to the relevant communiqués of the Peace and Security Council, Mahamat sent a Mission to Sudan led by his Principal Strategic Advisor, professor Mohamed Hacen Lebatt, and including other staff from the Commission.

The Mission is mandated to support the negotiations among the Sudanese stakeholders and facilitate, as appropriate, an agreement that will make it possible to establish a consensual and civilian-led transition. It has already begun its consultations.

He expresses the hope that the ongoing efforts will soon lead to an agreement that is in line with the aspirations of the Sudanese people and which, as such, will help to lay solid foundations for the democratic transformation of the Sudan.

The African Union has also ordered Sudan’s military rulers to hand over power to a civilian authority or face suspension within 60 days.

The AU said it noted “with deep regret” that the military had not stepped aside and handed power to civilians within a 15-day period set by the AU last month.

The bloc also reiterated “its conviction that a military-led transition in the Sudan will be totally unacceptable and contrary to the will and legitimate aspirations, to democratic institutions and processes, as well as respect for human rights and freedoms of the Sudanese people”.

The military assumed power in Sudan after toppling the country’s long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir following months of anti-government protests.

The AU launches initiative for youths to accelerate development in Africa

By Alpha Bedoh Kamara

African Union Commission (AUC) H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat has launched
the “1 Million By 2021 Initiative” to reach millions of African youth from across the continent with opportunities to accelerate socioeconomic development on the continent.

Under the theme “Africa unite for youth: Bridging the gap and reaching out to African youth” the “1 Million By 2021 Initiative”was officially launched on the 24th of April 2019 at AUC Headquarters in Ethiopia.

Convened by the Bureau of the Chairperson and the Department of Human Resources Science and Technology of the AUC, the 1 Million By 2021 Initiative aims to concretely reach millions of African youth from across the continent with opportunities and interventions in the key areas of Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education and Engagement to accelerate socioeconomic development on the continent.

Mahamat said the “youth are no longer just the future but the present and it is about time they are given platforms to express their voices”.

The AUC Chairperson’s special envoy on youth, Ms. Aya Chebbi said young people need to be included in governance and also the creation of scalable and sustainable opportunities and interventions across the four key areas.

She reiterated the need for youth to start looking at their “contributions towards the realization of Agenda 2063”.

AGENDA 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

AfCFTA Agreement secures minimum threshold of 22 ratification as Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic deposit instruments

The Chairperson of the AUC Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, flanked by the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, His Excellency Albert Muchanga received two (2) deposits of instruments of ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement today.

The instruments were from H.E. Dr. Brima Patrick Kapuwa, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the African Union (representing the 21st member state to do so) and H.E. Lamin Baali Permanent Representative of the Saharawi Republic to the African Union ( representing the 22nd ratification).

The Chairperson hailed the two deposits as timely and significant steps towards removing the fragmentation of African economies and markets, a process that will create a large market that is critical to increasing trade and investments on the continent.

The two deposits meet the minimum threshold of ratifications required under Article 23 of the AfCFTA Agreement for it to enter into force thirty days after deposit of the twenty second deposit made by the Saharawi Republic. The AfCFTA Agreement will in this regard enter into force on 30th May, 2019.

All that is now left is for the African Union and African Ministers of Trade to finalize work on supporting instruments to facilitate the launch of the operational phase of the AfCFTA during an Extra-Ordinary heads of state and government summit on 7th July 2019.

The supporting instruments are: rules of origin; schedules of tariff concessions on trade in goods; online non-tariff barriers monitoring and elimination mechanism; digital payments and settlement platform; and, African Trade Observatory Portal.

The African Ministers of Trade are scheduled to meet in Kampala, Uganda in the first week of June this year to review work on these supporting instruments ahead of the ExtraOrdinary Summit on the AfCFTA.

The Chairperson also paid tribute to the Champion of the AfCFTA His Excellency Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger for his strong and sustained advocacy to have all African Union Member States sigh and ratify the AfCFTA Agreement.

AU Chairperson calls for renewed international support to combat terrorism

Gunmen attacked and briefly seized a Malian army base
in the village of Dioura, in the Mopti region

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has strongly condemns the terrorist attack against a base of the Malian army in the village of Dioura, in the Mopti region, in the centre of the country, on the night of 16 to 17 March 2019, resulting in the deaths of many soldiers.

According to Reuters, officials said Gunmen attacked and briefly seized a Malian army base overnight, killing at least 16 soldiers and destroying five vehicles in central Mali’s Mopti region on Sunday .

Mahamat stresses that this despicable attack can only strengthen the resolve of the African Union, working together with the Malian authorities and the large international community, to support, in whatever way possible, the efforts aimed at combatting terrorism and violent extremism, as well as promoting lasting peace, security and stability.

He calls for renewed international mobilization in support of the regional efforts.

AU and AfDB reaffirm commitment to accelerate the continent’s economic transformation

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat and the President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina, met Tuesday in Addis Ababa to reaffirm their commitment to accelerate Africa’s economic transformation.

The AU and AfDB pushing for economic transformation in Africa

Mahamat and Adesina co-chaired a high-level consultative meeting attended by senior management of both institutions to take stock of the ongoing collaboration between the two institutions. Discussions focused on ways to strengthen partnership in delivering Agenda 2063 and other global frameworks for development.

AUC Chairperson Mahamat noted the strong alignment of the African Development Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The African Development Bank is the financial muscle of the African Union as far as Agenda 2063 is concerned, and we need to further institutionalize this partnership to make it more effective,” Mahamat said.

Addressing the audience, Adesina recalled that it was at the first meeting of the AUC, then known as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, that heads of state endorsed the establishment of the African Development Bank. Since then, there has been a long history of cooperation between the two institutions.

“We must, therefore, build on the long-standing relations between our two institutions and pool our collective expertise and resources in pursuit of the economic development and social transformation of our dear continent,” he said.

Adesina underscored the strategic importance of the Joint Secretariat Support Office (JSSO) for the African Union Commission, UNECA and the African Development Bank. He also reaffirmed the Bank’s need to position JSSO as a platform to foster effective coordination and collaboration, while leveraging the comparative advantages of the three pan-African institutions.

The Meeting welcomed the appointment of Lamin Barrow as the new Director for the JSSO and the Bank’s Permanent Representative to the African Union.

In a declaration issued at the end of the meeting, both leaders pledged to support the speedy implementation of various continental initiatives, Agenda 2063 and its 12 Flagship Programmes. These include the implementation of the Grand Inga Dam Port; the African Passport and Free Movement of People; the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market; an African Virtual University; the Integrated High Speed Train Network and the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area.

The institutions further recognized the need to continue to explore opportunities to accelerate the implementation of programmes with Regional Economic Communities and partners.

The communique resolved to prepare an action plan for the implementation of the resource mobilization strategy set in place to advance the continent’s development agenda.

The institutions also committed to work together for the successful replenishment of the African Development Fund and the Bank Group’s General Capital Increase.

The President rounded off his engagement at the AU Summit with a series of bilateral meetings, beginning with new AU Chairman and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E.M. Abdel Fattah el-Sis. Adesina also held talks with Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, Demesse Makonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Raila Odinga, African Union Special Envoy on Infrastructure.

Statement by the President of the Commission on the electoral process in Madagascar

The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes note of the proclamation, December 27, 2018, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), provisional results of the second round of the presidential election in Madagascar, which took place on December 19, 2018.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, commends the Congolese Government for its swift and effective response

The President of the Commission congratulates the Acting President of the Republic of Madagascar, the Prime Minister and the Government, the High Constitutional Court (HCC), the CENI and its dismemberments, the defense and security forces, the organizations of society civil society and religious, as well as all other stakeholders, for their contribution to the success of the electoral process.He praises the maturity and civility of the Malagasy people, who once again demonstrated their deep commitment to peace, stability and democracy.

The President of the Commission calls on the two presidential candidates and their supporters to refrain from any act likely to disrupt the current process or cause unrest, pending the official announcement of the final results by the HCC. They must be fully aware of their historic responsibilities to the Malagasy people, as well as to Africa and the international community as a whole. He urges them to scrupulously respect the prerogatives of the CENI and the HCC with regard to the proclamation of the results. In case of disputes related to the conduct of the vote, they must make exclusive use of the legal channels provided for this purpose.

The President of the Commission reaffirms the commitment of the African Union to continue its action of accompaniment of the actors and the Malagasy people, with a view to the completion of the electoral process, as well as to support them in the domains of the governance and the socio-economic development. To this end, the African Union will continue to work in close coordination with the Southern African Development Community, the United Nations, the International Organization of La Francophonie, the Indian Ocean Commission and the European Union, as well as with other bilateral and multilateral partners in Madagascar. The President of the Commission welcomes the remarkable work done by the International Support Group in Madagascar (GIS-M) to facilitate the harmonization of the efforts of the various international actors,

The President of the Commission reiterates the importance attached to the success of this presidential election as a decisive qualitative step for the consolidation of democracy in Madagascar. It calls on the Malagasy people and all the institutions of the country to spare no effort to protect this new achievement in national unity, stability, security and peace.