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The 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, to be held on January 30-31 arrives at a turning point as it coincides with the ending of the Millennium Development Goals and the onset of Agenda 2063, said Deputy Chair Person of the AUC, Erastus Mwencha. The Deputy Chairperson said elements of Agenda 2063 will put an input in the designing of post MDG.

 
Speaking to representatives of the media this morning, Mwencha identified the last year as “demanding.” The Western part of the continent was particularly challenged by the outbreak of the deadly virus Ebola as well as “radicalism and fundamentalism in the form of Boko Haram.”

 
“Even tough we couldn’t eradicate it entirely, the Ebola outbreak is still very much in hand,” he said. However previous projections putting the number of people that would die of the disease by now to 1.5 million were “seriously erroneous or our interventions were extremely successful,” he said.

 
In terms of the economic development, the year was marked by a huge drop in commodity prices. But the significant fall in oil price globally has positive impact on the economies of oil importers whereas oil exporters have been negatively affected. He further stated that in the area of agriculture, the theme of the year, progress has been achieved.

 
In the areas of peace and security Mwencha spotted the threat of Boko Haram as a major continental issue. Al -Shabaab in the Eastern part of the continent has successfully been subdued; however the West is under the menace of the militant organization about which the AUC is “collecting information on who is financing it to have a strategy.”
This year’s theme is Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda.

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