Kenya to Host 4th Retreat of the Executive Council

By African Union Commission (AUC)

When: 6-7 May 2016

Who: The Ministerial Retreat is organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Kenya.

Why: In preparation of the 27th African Union (AU) Summit to be held from 10 to 18 July 2016 in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda, the AU Commission is organising a Ministerial Retreat of the Executive Council in Nairobi, Kenya. During the retreat, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs/External Relations and other Ministers or authorities duly designated by their Government will brainstorm and exchange views on the implementation of Agenda 2063, among others.

Following a decision taken at the AU Summit in January 2016, the African Union Commission (AUC) was requested to organise this Ministerial Retreat to allow for in-depth discussions on the implementation and domestication of Agenda 2063.

Objective: The objective of the Ministerial Retreat will include the following:

Allow for in-depth discussions on the paradox of rich Africa, poor Africans, on changing mind-sets and other relevant issues;

Update on the implementation of Agenda 2063, its domestication and popularization, including the interaction with the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other strategic matters given current developments in Africa and in the world.

Update on the Agenda 2063 flagship projects including the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Other matters of strategic concern, including the structural reforms of the AU to facilitate implementation of Agenda 2063.

Expected outcomes: The Ministers will adopt their report to be submitted to the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for consideration. The report will among other things include the domestic mobilization of finances and resources to speed up African development, as well as leverage national, regional and continental resources from elsewhere to fund African institutions, democratic governance and peace-building among others.

Participants: The participants at the ministerial retreat would include:

Ministers of Foreign Affairs/External Relations and other Ministers or authorities duly designated by their Government ; and Representatives from the African Union Commission.

Background: The 1st Ministerial Retreat of the Executive Council was held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in January 2014, with its major focus on the development of Agenda 2063. The discussions of the retreat focused on the 'E-mail from the Future', which laid the basis for the aspirations of this continental fifty year vision. Flowing from this, the Bahir Dar Retreat reviewed Africa's place in the world, threats and risks, and key strategic initiatives. These were captured in the Outcomes document, with recommendations to the Executive Council at the January 2014 Summit. The strategic initiatives identified in the Outcomes document formed the basis of the Agenda 2063 flagship projects, as adopted at the Malabo Summit in June 2014.

Since the Bahir Dar Retreat in January 2014, the Executive Council has met in Retreat at least once a year. The Retreats, including Bahir Dar focused on strategic issues, with reports and recommendations to the Summit for adoption. Overall, the Retreat discusses strategic approaches to Agenda 2063, monitors implementation of flagship projects and priorities, engages on institutional issues such as the Streamlining of the Business of the AU, the Restructuring project, Financing the Union, and mainstream issues that may have been neglected, such as the case of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism.

The 2nd Retreat of the Executive Council was held in Sandton, South Africa in June 2015, and in addition to discussing Agenda 2063, also focused on the Free movement of People, the proposals on Streamlining of AU Working methods and Summits, the Harmonization of Higher education Qualifications, the 70th Anniversary of the UN and the State of Multilateralism, with recommendations to the Summit.

The 3rd Retreat of the Executive Council was held in Mek'elle, Ethiopia in January 2016 Retreat discussed the paradox of a continent, rich in natural resources, but with many countries within the least developed countries category. In addition, the retreat received an update on the Agenda 2063 Flagship projects, on the Restructuring project of the AU Commission, and on Tourism and Wildlife Preservation.

The format of the Retreats is geared towards ensuring a free-flowing discussion, with strategic inputs during interactive sessions between the Ministers and the AUC leadership in a convivial and friendly manner.

The Bahir Dar Retreat established a Ministerial Follow-up Committee, with representatives from the five (5) regions (rotating every two (2) years), the Chairpersons of the 8 RECs, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, and Executives of NPCA, UNECA, AfDB, and the RECs. It would be recalled that the membership of the committee was changed at Mek'elle in January 2016. To date the Ministerial Committee has met once in session in December 2014 in Johannesburg.

Worth recalling that the theme of the 27th AU Summit is: “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”.

Journalists wishing to interview the leadership of the AU Commission during the Summit should submit their requests to Mrs Esther Azaa Tankou, Ag. Director of Information and Communication of the AUC, via E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]