South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will relinquish his role as Chair of the African Union (AU) at the virtual 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State.

Ramaphosa will, as outgoing Chairperson, officially hand over to his successor President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The African Union theme for 2021 will be “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.”

During South Africa’s tenure as Chair, the African Union achieved key priorities as outlined in its programme for 2020.

Acting Presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale says during Ramaphosa’s tenure a number of initiatives were undertaken to tackle COVID-19.

“Under the leadership of President Ramaphosa and with the support of the Bureau of the Heads of State and government, the following initiatives were undertaken to address the challenges of COVID-19. This included the establishment of AU COVID-19 response fund, the establishment of the Africa task force for coronavirus, the partnership to accelerate COVID-19 testing in Africa, the consortium for COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials and the appointment of special envoys to mobilise international support for the continent’s fight against the pandemic.”

The South African delegation to the AU Summit is led by President Ramaphosa who will be joined by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel, Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nkosinathi Mthethwa.

Meanwhile, the summit being held virtually is a blow for the hotel industry in Addis Ababa, which was banking on the event, to recover from the losses due to the COVID -19 pandemic .

The video below is on the virtual AU Summit being a  blow for the hotel industry in Addis Ababa: