Vice President Ahmed Afif is heading the Seychelles delegation to the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, held between 18th and 19th February 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This session marked the launch of the African Union’s 2023 theme of “Accelerating implementation of the AfCFTA”, a theme which echoes the continental consensus that the future of Africa lies in greater investment and intra-Africa trade through reduced tariffs and freer movement of peoples and goods.
During the opening ceremony of this year’s Summit, the Chairmanship of the African Union was handed over to the President of Comoros by the outgoing Chairperson, the President of the Republic of Senegal. Notable among those present was the United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Gutterres.
The Vice President attended the Meeting of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) on 18th February 2023, representing President Ramkalawan, the Chair of the Africa Island States Climate Commission (AISCC). He gave a brief report on the activities undertaken in 2022 to promote the Africa Island States’ action for climate-resilient sustainable development.
In the evening of the 18th February 2023, the Vice President was welcomed by the Seychelles diaspora in Addis Ababa for a reception hosted by Ambassador Mederic at his residence. Mrs. Peggy Vidot, the Minister for Health who was in Addis attending an Africa CDC Meeting was also present at the reception.
During day two of the Summit, the Vice President intervened on the presentation of the Report of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) by the Chair, H.E. Mr William Ruto, President of Kenya. Vice President Afif, congratulated the COP27 Presidency for leading the historic decision to establish a new loss and damage response fund in Egypt, caused by the adverse effects of climate change. He noted that Seychelles and like the rest of the African continent, is living the consequences of climate impact daily and this, coupled with the increasing number of climate disasters, makes it obvious that the era of loss and damage is upon us.
During the two-days of the Summit, Vice President Afif had the opportunity to attend a number of bilateral meetings to explore and deepen existing cooperation with the delegations of the United States, the Republic of Kenya, and the African Union Commissioner responsible for the Blue Economy. He also met the Heads of Delegation of African Union Member States participating in this year’s Summit such as Sierra Leone, Burundi, Namibia, Malawi, Senegal, South Sudan, Mozambique and several others.
The Vice President was accompanied by Ambassador Conrad Mederic, Head of Mission in Addis Ababa, Mr. Wills Agricole, Technical Advisor for Climate Change and Energy, Mr. Charles Morin, Trade Consultant from the Trade Department, Mrs. Patricia Ilunga, Second Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in Addis Ababa, Ms. Rebecca Julienne, Desk Officer for African Union, Foreign Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Ms. Vanessa Seth, Intern, Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in Addis Ababa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles.