THE African Union has taken a further step to revive its much-troubled policy of silencing Africa’s guns, which should have initially taken effect in 2020, but now has a new deadline of 2030.
Seasoned Ghanaian diplomat Dr Mohamed Chambas has been tasked with overseeing the AU’s objective of ending all conflicts, gender-based violence, terrorism and preventing genocide in Africa by the new deadline.
As AU High Representative for Silencing the Guns, Chambas will be expected to primarily ‘promote, energise advocacy, mediation and preventive diplomacy’ to achieve this rather difficult task on a continent that is beset with violence and armed conflicts in a number of countries.
Chambas served as the Under-Secretary General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) from 2014-2021, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Also, as a former Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and ex-President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, the new High Representative brings with him decades of a rich mix of political experience and resourceful institutional leadership at national, regional, continental and global levels.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he was optimistic that Chambas’ ‘impeccable credentials and commitment to Pan-Africanism and Agenda 2063 will contribute to his success in this new role’.
Chambas will take up his duties from this March.
Faki also made another significant appointment over the weekend, with the announcement of the former Prime Minister of Niger, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, as the AU’s Special Envoy for Food Systems.
With Africa having to deal with global issues such as climate change, rising food insecurity and hunger, Mayaki is expected to speed up the continent’s plans to harness its food systems for the people.
He will work closely with the African Union Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment to achieve new and robust national agriculture investment and development plans for the continent.
Mayaki is also a former CEO of Africa’s Development Agency, AUDA-NEPAD and a respected African statesman who brings decades of political and institutional leadership at the highest level in leading the multi-faceted development agenda of the continent.
AU Chairperson Faki said he was is confident that Mayaki ‘will contribute to the success of this new multidimensional continental role’.