Q: As the African Union Special Envoy for Food Systems, what is the scope of your mandate and what should Africans expect from you?
The role of special envoys of the AU is primarily to tackle a critical issue for which the AU needs support. A special envoy does not seek to replace or take over the responsibilities of the AU or the AU Commission (AUC). Instead, their role is to support and enhance their work by bringing additional value.
In February 2023, the Union of Comoros ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Later that month, the country’s President Azali Assoumani took over as Chairperson of the African Union.
At the end of a five-minute newscast from a makeshift studio in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the venue of COP27, Cotonou-based journalist Ghyslaine Florida Zossoungbo was able to provide real-time information to her compatriots back home in the Republic of Benin.
Ambassador Maria de Jesus dos Reis Ferreira was appointed in February 2018 as the Permanent Representative of Angola to the UN, the first woman to hold the position.
Ambassador Mathu Joyini began her role as the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in January 2021, becoming the first South African woman to hold the position.
Representing the African States Group, she is the Chair of the Bureau for the 2022 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She has championed causes related to Africa's peace and security, human rights, women’s empowerment, among others.
The official start of free trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 moved a major continental aspiration closer to reality.
When Fidelis Adele, the CEO of Freetown-based Solid Graphics, a printing and communications company, needed to order some printing equipment from Nigeria in September, he paid an extra $165 on top of a $10,000 bank transfer to the seller. Yet it took three days for the money transferred in Sierra Leone to be credited to the beneficiary’s account in Nigeria.
One day in February 2020, Accra-based coffee and cocoa trader Meron Dagnew visited the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to introduce herself, even before the Secretariat was fully operational.
is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union.
As head of the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU), she spoke with Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor
on, among other issues, the current state of the UN-AU partnership and how women and young people can help resolve conflict.
Government staffer Souhayata Haidara enjoys talking about her life in a patriarchal society. Her career is a triumph of patience and perseverance, she tells Africa Renewal with a smile and a wink.
In August 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May visited countries in Africa, sparking hope of increased foreign direct investments (FDI) in the continent.
Following the unveiling of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018, Africa is about to become the world’s largest free trade area: 55 countries merging into a single market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.
On a bright, sunny day in January this year, Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf turned over power to George Weah, a decorated soccer star, following peaceful and successful elections. This marked Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.
From “Africa Reeling” to “Africa Rising,” there’s a new narrative for the African continent, now showing promising signs of sustainable growth under more stable governments.
McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, predicts that Africa’s combined GDP will be $2.6 trillion by 2020 and that “Africa’s consumer spending by 128 million households with discretionary income is expected to be around $1.4 trillion.”