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Tuesday, 30th January 2018
President Yoweri Museveni congratulates President Paul Kagame upon his election as the new president of the Africa Union

President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame upon his election as the new president of the Africa Union (AU).

In a bilateral meeting shortly after President Kagame hadassumed the seat, President Museveni congratulated the Rwandan leader on thenew responsibility and wished him a successful tenure at the helm of thecontinental body.

The news of President Kagame's election was broken by theAfrican Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat during the officialopening ceremony of the 30th AU Heads of State Summit at the organisation's headquartersin Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday on Sunday.

President Museveni was among the tens of leaders whoattended the ceremony, whose running theme is "Winning the fight againstCorruption; A Sustainable Path to Africa's Transformation". Later, PresidentKagame was called by his predecessor, Guinea's Alpha Conde, to make hisinaugural remarks.

The Rwandan leader said Africa's biggest challenge iscreating a pathway for young people's prosperity, noting that whereas othercontinent's had done so using industrialization, Africa's chances of using thesame approach were quickly shrinking.

"We are running out of time and must act now to saveAfrica from deprivation. We must work for a single market, integrate ourinfrastructure and fuse our technologies. No country can do this alone,"he said.

He added that Africa must ensure a Continental Free TradeArea is achieved, while ensuring free movement of Africans in the continent iseased. "This will send a signal that it is no longer business asusual," said Mr Kagame as he announced the launch of a Single African AirTransport Market.

At the same function, United Nations Secretary General,Antonio Guterres, listed five areas for cooperation between the AU and the UN.These were cooperation in peace and security, especially on the peacekeepingfront, push for sustainable and inclusive development, addressing the questionof climate change, fixing the migration quagmire and uniting in the fightagainst corruption.

In his parting remarks, outgoing AU president Alfa Condesaid the continent should work to reduce dependence on foreign aid not dependon foreign aid.

The summit also received new members who were introduced byConde, with recently-elected Liberian President George Weah receiving a rousingapplause from members. New Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa was alsoapplauded when he told the conference that his predecessor, Robert Mugabe,"was well, safe and secure," adding that, "It is my duty asleader of the current administration to preserve his legacy as the foundingfather of our republic." Also introduced was His Excellency Joao Lourenco.