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Resolving conflicts, tackling gender equality, climate change and boosting commerce are high on 2020 agenda.

South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa, greets the media prior to the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil on November 14, 2019 (Image by Pavel Golovkin/Reuters)
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, greets the media prior to the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil on November 14, 2019 (Image by Pavel Golovkin/Reuters)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday took over the rotating African Union (AU) chair at the opening of the 33rd AU summit of heads of state and government at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The 33rd AU summit is being held in the East African country under the theme of the year, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

Ramaphosa has taken over the one-year term chairmanship from the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In his acceptance speech, Ramaphosa said he would dedicate efforts to enhancing the progress on Africa’s priorities for development and prosperity, with a focus on deepening collaboration among member states.

This year’s priorities for the AU includes continued peace negotiations in Libya, tackling gender equality, climate change and promoting and supporting economic integration across the continent. Nkosi said the agreement to create the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), ratified by 24 African states, has injected a “new dynamism and optimism about the future of the continent”.

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