Lazarus Chakwera stays away from 36th African Union session
By Deogratias Mmana:
President Lazarus Chakwera will not attend the forthcoming 36th session of the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, scheduled for tomorrow until Sunday.
Instead, he has delegated Foreign Affairs Minister Nancy Tembo.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dated February 16 2023, indicates that Chakwera has failed to attend the summit because he has other engagements.
“…His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, will not attend the 36th Session of the African Union Summit Meeting from 18th to 19th February 2023 due to other equally important national commitments during the same period, including Cabinet’s ongoing preparations for the Budget Meeting of Parliament,” the statement reads.
The statement further says although he has delegated Tembo, the president will attend other AU sessions virtually.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson John Kabaghe confirmed the development yesterday.
According to the AU page https://au.int/en/ summit/36, the heads of State and government will, among other things, consider and make far reaching decisions on various political and socio-economic areas to promote and advance the welfare and quality of life for the African citizenry.
The assembly will also consider various reports including institutional reforms of the AU State of Peace and Security Council and the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa.
Other discussions will be on global political, financial and energy policy governance and the food crisis and also the AU’s response to Covid in Africa.
The theme for this year’s summit is ‘The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’.