On 16th July, 2023 the African Union will hold its 5th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (MYCM), that will focus on enhancing synergy in its efforts towards Africa’s integration.
The meeting brings together Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Mechanism (RMs) and member states to review the progress of the continental integration agenda.
The meeting will be attended by about 51 foreign ministers from the AU member states. On Sunday, 15 heads of state will meet at the United Nations African headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.
The meeting will address the obstacles of continental integration by exploring avenues to enhance integration including the promotion of free movement and the African passport, connecting infrastructure, connecting African financial markets, and a common African market to accelerate trade, agriculture, the establishment of businesses and transfer of skills in Africa.
The MYCM will be preceded by the meeting of the Executive Council on the 13-14th July 2023.
Addressing the meeting themed ‘Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua urged Member States to create synergies and build on comparative advantages that allow for free trade to unlock collective socio-economic potential in Africa.
On climate change, the CS called on consolidation of Africa’s voice to amplify the need for a fair share of global trade. On peace and security, he reiterated that Kenya remains committed to the Silencing of Guns initiative and participates in peace and mediation efforts at the regional level.
With the MYCM expected to bring in more than 1500 delegates from across Africa, Mutua observes that the conference will be a critical centre for tourism and trade opportunities. “International conferences are key and strategic drivers of our tourism market especially in the MICE Sector,” he said.
MYCM was conceptualized in 2017 as the principal forum for the AU and RECs in a bid to align their work and coordinate the implementation of the continental integration agenda.
AU chairperson and the Bureau of the Assembly, AU Champion of the AfCFTA, chairpersons of all RECs, AUC chairperson and chief executives of RECs/RMs, deputy chairperson and commissioners of the AUC and the chief executive officer of AUDA-NEPAD are expected to attend.
The RECs include the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA, Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD) and East African Community (EAC).
By Hamdi Mohamud