Nduduzo Tshuma in Addis Ababa
President Mugabe arrived here yesterday to attend the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State and Government, which opens tomorrow.
He was received at Bole International Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the AU, Ambassador Albert Chimbindi.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is Acting President. Themed “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth”, the two-day Summit will see President Mugabe present a donation to the African Union Foundation to help the organisation in its quest for self-sustenance.
The President donated 300 head of cattle to the AU earlier this year, some of which were converted into cash via auctioning. During his AU Chairmanship (January 2015-January 2016), President Mugabe advocated for the bloc’s self-financing as roughly 60 percent of its budget is donor-driven.
In 2014, the budget was US$278 million, 44 percent of which was financed by member states. The Summit will be Guinea’s President Alpha Conde’s first as AU Chair following his election in January 2016.
President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, is among the speakers.
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