AU Commission Chairperson expected in Lomé, Togo, for an AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is expected to arrive in Lomé, Togo, next week for the African Union’s Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa, scheduled to take place from 11-15 October 2016. The Chairperson confirmed her arrival to President Faure Gnassingbé when they met at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday 5 October 2016.

President Faure Gnassingbé was in Ethiopia on a two-day official visit during which, together with the AU Commission Chairperson, discussed the state of preparations of the Extraordinary Summit.

“We're looking forward to the Summit. The sea is a huge resource for us. We're very excited to have the Charter in Lomé, which will guide Africa in dealing with maritime issues. The world is looking at the sea as the next economic frontier, and so Africa cannot afford to lag behind”, Dr. Dlamini Zuma highlighted during her meeting with President Gnassingbé.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma and President Gnassingbé also discussed the need to have a team of lawyers as well as an AU body to help in determining every Member States’ continental shelf. The two leaders underlined the importance of tapping into the resources of the sea to increase Africa’s prosperity, instead of allowing those resources to become a source of conflict.

The Summit is expected to adopt an African Maritime Security Charter. Therefore, the Heads of State and Government will take the discussions beyond security to include issues of fishing, transport, mining, and tourism, which can help boost job creation and employment for African countries.

President Gnassingbé assured Dr. Dlamini Zuma of the advanced state of readiness in Togo, and looked forward to welcoming the Chairperson in Lomé.