AFRICA – The President of the Union of Comoros, H.E. Azali Assoumani, has been chosen by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) to serve as the new Chairperson of the African Union for the year 2023 during the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union.

President Azali of Comoros is taking over the baton of command from H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, who has concluded his term as the Chairperson of the African Union for the year 2022.

Azali expressed his gratitude for the honor, responsibility, and trust placed in him and the other members of the new Bureau to guide the Organization’s course for the upcoming year in his acceptance address.

“I thank you and assure you of our commitment to work together with all member countries in the exercise of our mandate.  

“I pay tribute to the founding fathers of the Organization. Six decades later, their luminous vision continues to inspire our living together and to illuminate our united march towards the ideal of African integration,” he added.

President Macky Sall thanked the Heads of State of the AU Member States as well as the AU outgoing bureau for their support during his term as President, which he said was marked by the prevailing sanitary crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also wished the new AU Chairperson a successful Chairmanship. He emphasized some of the accomplishments made under his leadership of the Union, including the advancement of democracy and good governance, as well as other development initiatives under Agenda 2063.

The outgoing Union Head praised H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chair of the AUC, for his leadership and support, as well as that of all the Commission members.

“Serving our continent has been a privilege and a great pride because I believe in a united Africa, an Africa standing up, an Africa at work, an Africa in peace and confident in its future”. 

“This has made him more determined and even more motivated at the front of the fight for Africa, everywhere, for everything and all the time; because it is the responsibility conferred on us by the heritage of the pan-Africanism, to realize the dream of the Founding Fathers and the aspirations of our peoples,” underlined President Sall.

Kenya had earlier withdrawn its candidature from the elections, paving the way for Comoros to rise to the leadership ranks for the very first time in history.

“By allowing the Union of Comoros to lead the African continent, our Organization has just proved to the world its conviction that all countries have the same rights and enjoy the same freedoms. 

“Thus, in succeeding, in this sacred place, to my brother President Macky Sall, as current President of the African Union, it is with the weight of the continental responsibility on my shoulders, that I intend to assume, as of today, the functions of President of the African Union, in this 36th Ordinary Session,” underscored the incoming Chair of the Union.

Azali stated that he will work to continue Sall’s legacy of discourse, listening, and gathering as vital components of carrying out AU’s mandate.

The ceremonial event was attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), H.E. Ban Ki-moon, the Vice Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, representatives of the Regional Economic Commission, dignitaries, guests, and AU employees.

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