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Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi takes over from Rwanda's Paul Kagame as AU Chairperson

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is new AU Chairperson

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the new Chairperson of the African Union (AU) for 2019.

He takes over from Rwandan Leader, Paul Kagame who has been occupying the position since January 2018.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi according to Ashraf Swelam, who heads a think tank linked to the country’s foreign ministry, will likely focus less on “financial and administrative reform” than his predecessor.

Such reform according to timeslive.co.za was the cornerstone of outgoing AU chairman Paul Kagame’s year in the role.

The website said the Rwandan president had pushed for a continent-wide import tax to fund the AU and reduced its dependence on external donors, who still pay for more than half the institution’s annual budget.

Sisi who gave his acceptance speech at the 32nd Assembly of Heads of State and government of the African Union is expected to focus more on security, peacekeeping and post-war reconstruction, issues closely tied to the AU’s 2019 theme of “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons”.

“Egypt has an interest in Africa, they want to strengthen their position on the African continent and they don’t want to be seen as a country only focused on the Arab world,” said Liesl Louw-Vaudran, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that peaceful elections in DR Congo, Mali and Madagascar, as well as peace deals in South Sudan and Central African Republic and the truce between Ethiopia and Eritrea, were signs of a “wind of hope” on the continent.


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