South Africa first chaired the AU following its historic relaunch in 2002 with former president Thabo Mbeki assuming the position of Chair. The Chair is elected by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a one year term and responsibilities include representing the AU at various forums such as the G20.
In his acceptance statement as Chair of the AU, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa laid out an ambitious list of priorities. This wide list of priorities includes supporting green growth and sustainable development; enhancing AUUN co-operation; promoting good governance; driving a skills revolution and the uptake of digital technologies; supporting people living under the yoke of oppression; tackling gender inequality; ending the conflict, and unlocking Africa’ economic potential through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This analysis will focus on the last three key priorities which are high on South Africa’s agenda.
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