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South Africa to assume African Union's chairship in 2020

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South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will be taking over as the Chair of the African Union (AU) in 2020 after Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi completes his term.

The announcement was made on Sunday during the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU which is underway here. El-Sisi took charge from Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday, during the opening of the summit.

"Rwandan President HE @PaulKagame handed over the AU Chairmanship to President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt during the opening ceremony of the 32nd Ordinary Session of Assembly of the African Union. South Africa assumes the AU chairship in 2020. #AUSummit #BetterAfricaBetterWorld," the official Twitter account of South Africa's Presidency tweeted on Sunday.

The Chairperson of the AU is the ceremonial head of the bloc, who is elected for the term of one-year. The chair rotates among the five geographic regions of the African Union.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put forth the UN's resolve towards the promotion of peace at the session. "There is a wind of hope blowing over Africa. The United Nations is committed to continuing to promote a diplomatic wave for peace. The 'Silencing Arms in Africa by 2020' initiative is an excellent example of the African Union's efforts in this area," he tweeted in French.

Ethiopia's last Emperor, Haile Selassie I's, life-sized statue was unveiled at the premises of the AU's headquarters during the session as well. He is deemed to be the founder of the African Union's predecessor, the Organization of African Union.

The theme of this year's session is "Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa." The two-day AU session is being held in Ethiopia's Adis Ababa on February 10 and 11 this year and has representatives from member-nations in attendance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 10 2019. 20:00 IST