Skip to main content

President Ramaphosa concludes participation at the African Union Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today 18 February, 2024, concluded his participation at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).

The AU Assembly met under the theme: “Educate an Africa fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa”.

The Assembly discussed the status of peace and security on the continent and the Report of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). The discussion took place against the backdrop of great concern regarding the state of peace and security in Africa. The ongoing and concerning trend of unconstitutional changes of government that have occurred in West Africa as well as the ongoing conflicts in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, South Sudan and Mozambique. 

Furthermore, the Summit accepted a report on the progress of the Institutional Reforms of the AU.

The highlight of the Summit was the launch of the Second Ten-Year Implementation Plan of the AU’s Agenda 2063: “The Africa we want”. 

Agenda 2063 serves as a fifty-year blueprint for Africa’s socio-economic development and integration, adopted by the AU member states after extensive consultations across the continent.

A key flagship project of Agenda 2063 in which South Africa is playing a leading role is the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (the AfCFTA), that serves as a milestone development in the evolution of the AU.

President Ramaphosa presented a report on the continent’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of readiness against future health threats, in his capacity as the Champion of the AU’s COVID-19 response. As the pandemic is waning on the continent, South Africa intends to work with the AU Commission and the Africa Centre for Disease Control (FACT) towards expanding the role of the President to include all other health pandemics that are affecting the continent. 

“Although the Africa CDC has classified COVID-19 as no longer a public health emergency of international concern, it remains an ever-evolving endemic virus. Furthermore, the effects of the pandemic continue to reverberate across our continent and beyond.  The COVID-19 crisis was an opportunity for us as Africa to bolster our manufacturing sector. We were able to draw in an impressive USD 1.1 billion in financial and technical investments, in addition to the USD 1 billion advanced market commitment from GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance” said President Ramaphosa. 

The President praised the concerted efforts and collaboration demonstrated by the continent during the Covid-19 pandemic. He further urged the gathered leaders to continue improving the levels of alertness of their countries against future pandemics. 
“Despite these successes, we are still at the delicate juncture of recovery. There is the threat of future pandemics. Our rapid and precise interventions have averted further crises, and for this, we must continue to sharpen our vigilance.

 The adoption of a strong Common Africa Position on Pandemic Preparedness and Response (CAP PPPR) is non-negotiable. It will define our roadmap to safeguarding our people, with a keen focus on critical issues”, said President Ramaphosa. 

Addressing the Summit leaders on positive masculinity and the need to support the development of the AU Convention on Violence against Women and Girls, the President expressed his gratitude for the effort of Champions on Positive Masculinity and all member states that have been part of the continental movement.

The President called on the Assembly to forge a strong and enduring commitment to protect and uplift those who have suffered from violence against women and girls.
“We must now launch the AU Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Campaign, championing continent-wide consultations and ensuring that the journey to developing this critical instrument is shared by citizens across our vast continent.

Developing the AU Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls is more than a political act. It is a moral imperative to redefine our societies, to confront the legacies of colonialism, patriarchy and racism, and to champion equality, freedom and self-determination for every African.

As President of South Africa, I hereby commit to support the development and timely adoption of a comprehensive convention that is backed by resources and institutional mechanisms to ensure its efficacy”, concluded President Ramaphosa.

South Africa has welcomed and supported the 2024 AU Theme: “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century - Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa”.

South Africa supported the principles and spirit of both the 2024 AU theme as contained in the Concept Note and the Roadmap, which affirmed the critical need to transform and revitalize systems on the continent to place education at the centre of Africa’s development agenda.

On the margins of the AU Summit President Ramaphosa held several bilateral meetings with Heads of State and Government of the Republic of Angola, the State of Palestine,  Republic of Kenya and the Republic of South Sudan . The meetings centred on the strengthening of cooperation in areas of mutual interest. 

President Ramaphosa also held a trilateral meeting with President Felix Tshisikedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi. The meeting focused on areas of common interests including the restoration of peace and security in the Eastern DRC. 

President Ramaphosa wished His Excellency President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, President of Mauritania  a successful tenure  on his election as the new Chairperson  of the African Union and commended the leadership of  outgoing Chairperson President Azali Ghazouani of the Union of Comoros. 

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President - 

Issued by: The Presidency

 Union Building