Ethiopian new Prime Minister Hailmeariam Dessalegn has taken over the chairmanship of the African Union at the on-going 20th Summit of the AU heads of state and governments meeting.
Prime Minister Hailemariam, who recently succeeded Ethiopia’s long serving late PM Meles Zenawi, will chair the continental body for the coming one year, taking over from the president of the Republic of Benin, Dr. Boni Yayi.
Speaking at the summit PM Hailemariam expressed his commitment to the appointment during the time when the continental body was celebrating its 50th founding anniversary.
PM Hailemariam mentioned the late Meles Zenawi’s contribution to the Union, applauding the decision by the Nepad Heads of State decision to establish a Meles Zenawi Centre for Sustainable Development for his contribution of championing NEPAD programs.
“The late Prime Minister was an ardent Pan- Africanist who earned well deserved acclaim for his prominent role in advocating for Africa’s common interest on the world stage.” Hailemariam said.
The summit of the heads of state and governments has kicked off this morning at the presence of UN secretary general Ban ki Moon, Palestinian President Mohamud Abbas, leaders of African countries and representatives of international organizations.
PM Hailemariam will be representing the continent as a chairperson of the Union in different international endeavours.