South African President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Ethiopia for the 28th African Union (AU) ordinary session of the assembly of heads of state and government.

Zuma arrived on Saturday evening.

Under the theme: “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in the youth,” the AU Assembly will be preceded on Sunday by a retreat of AU heads of state and government, where the leaders will consider a report to be presented by the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame on institutional reforms of the AU aimed at enhancing the continental body’s governance systems.

The report was commissioned at the last AU summit held in Kigali, Rwanda.

The former governor of the South African Reserve Bank Tito Mboweni was appointed by Kagame as one of the experts who assisted him with the project.

The assembly will also consider and deliberate on reports focusing on the state of peace and security on the continent, the African Peer Review Mechanism, and Climate Change.

The assembly will also consider the 2016 annual report of the AU Commission, which is expected to focus on implementation and domestication of Agenda 2063, economic integration, the continental passport, as well as peace support and peace-keeping missions.

The AU assembly will also elect a new chairperson of the AU Commission, deputy chair, and eight commissioners.

The term of office of outgoing AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma came to an end in June 2016, but was extended by the AU leaders until January because the elections for her successor in Kigali where inconclusive.

Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily, former UN special envoy for Central Africa; Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi; Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat; Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy; and Kenya’s Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed are the candidates.

The assembly is also expected to also consider the application by the Kingdom of Morocco to become the AU’s 55th member state.

Zuma is accompanied by International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; State Security Minister David Mahlobo; Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Jeff Radebe; Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi; Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayanda Dlodlo; and Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela.

– By ANA