Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 03 July 2020: A delegation of officials of the African Union Commission (AUC) led by the Deputy Chairperson, H.E. Mr Kwesi Quartey called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Gedu Andargachew on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. The purpose of the meeting was to ascertain specific ways the Africa Union would support the host nation in navigating the current challenges it faces and also requested for the restoration of internet services to facilitate business continuity.
H.E. Andargachew welcomed the AUC delegation and briefed them about the security situation in Ethiopia and the measures the host government is taking to restore to calm.
The Deputy Chairperson thanked H.E. Andargachew for making time to receive the AU delegation and reiterated the support of the AU to the Government and people of Ethiopia and sought specific ways the AU would lend support to the government as it resolves the current impasse in the country. H.E. Mr. Quartey expressed gratitude to the Foreign Minister for prompt restoration of internet services to the Commission upon request. He further noted that the majority of the AUC staff and Member States were working from home as a measure to stem the spread of COVID-19, thus needed internet services as well.
The AU, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, had resolved to carry on with the Union’s statutory meetings notably, Executive Council sessions, Mid-Year Coordination sessions and PRC sessions including Budget Coordination meetings.
The conducting of these meetings are mainly dependent on internet availability as the majority of AUC staff and Member States would be working virtually in compliance with prescribed protocols aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, H.E. Mr. Quartey requested the Host country to expedite action on the restoration of internet services for the continuity of the Union’s business.
In response to the issues raised by the Deputy Chairperson, Minister Andargachew assured the delegation of the host government’s resolve to evaluate the security situation in the country, juxtapose the request of the AU and take due action.
Both sides discussed other topical issues such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project and the on-going efforts aimed at resolving the challenge amicably.
H.E. Mr. Quartey stressed that “the AU is keen on finding African solutions to African problems in Africa in Africa” and urged the three countries to commit themselves to the process of finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Other members of the delegation were: the Chief of Staff, Amb. Abdoulaye Diop, the Deputy Chief of Staff Amb. Amb.Niamke Malan, Head of Protocol, Madam Simone Abala, the Ambassador of Ethiopia to the African Union H.E. Tesfaye Yilma and Prof. Mekonen Haddis, Advisor to the Deputy Chairperson.