Africa: AU Commission Convenes 20th Senior Officials Meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Africa-Arab Partnership

The African Union Commission department of Partnerships & Resource Mobilization convened the 20th Senior Officials Meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Africa-Arab Partnership on the 13th June 2024 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The objective of the Meeting of Senior Officials was to assess and review the outcomes on the implementation of Decisions on the 4th Africa-Arab Summit which took place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2016 and discuss the implementation of ongoing programmes and activities of the partnership including preparations for the 5th Africa Arab Summit in Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting brought together senior officials from both the African Union and the League of Arab States. On the African side, participants included representatives from the current Chairperson (Mauritania), the past Chair of the African Union (Comoros), and the Chair of the Sub-Committee of the Whole on Multilateral Cooperation (Congo). On the League of Arab States side, attendees included representatives from the current Chairperson (Bahrain), the past Chair and host country of the upcoming summit (Saudi Arabia), and the incoming Chair (Iraq). Additionally, the meeting was attended by staff from the African Union Commission, led by the Director of the Partnerships Directorate, and staff from the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, led by the Director for African Affairs. Representatives from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Africa-Arab Cultural Institute (AACI), and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) were also present.

In his opening remarks H.E Ambassador Youssouph Assoumani Mondoha Ambassador of the Union of Comoros in Addis Ababa acting on behalf of the Permanent Representative of Mauritania, Chair of the African Union Permanent Representative Committee, expressed his delight to address the meeting. He welcomed participants and reiterated the African Union’s commitment to advancing this long historic Africa-Arab partnership.He emphasized the need to look into the postponement of the 5th Africa-Arab Summit and identify new of dates for the event, in line with the AU’s Executive Council, Decision from February 2024. Ambassador Mondoha also highlighted pressing issues affecting the African and Arab regions, including the Palestinian cause, conflicts in the Great Lakes, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia, and the importance of cooperation in economic development, trade, migration, agricultural development, and cultural exchange. He concluded by reaffirming the African Union’s unwavering commitment towards strengthening and deepening of Afro-Arab relations.

H.E. Amb. Fatima Abdullah Al-Dhaen, Director General of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, also delivered opening remarks. She expressed her pleasure in attending the meeting on behalf of Bahrain, the current Chair of the Arab Summit. She highlighted the longstanding historical ties between Saudi Arabia and Africa prior to the establishment of the Africa-Arab Partnership in 1977. Amb. Al-Dhaen underscored the Arab world’s current challenges, particularly the conflict in Gaza, and condemned the attacks in Rafah. She noted Bahrain’s interventions, such as the Conference on Peace held on the sidelines of the Arab Summit in May 2024, and reiterated Bahrain’s commitment to supporting African countries.

In her opening remarks, H.E. Amb. Fatima Abdullah Al-Dhaen, Director General of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kingdom of Bahrain expressed her delight to be attending the meeting on behalf of Bahrain as current Chair of the Arab Summit. She went on to highlight the long standing historical Saudi Afro-Arab relations prior to the establishment of the Africa-Arab Partnership in 1977 with the establishment of BADEA. She indicated further that she looked forward to the convening of the 5th Africa-Arab Summit in Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She went on to indicate that the Arab world is going through a difficult time particularly in relation to the conflict in the Gaza strip with the Palestine people bearing the consequences. She went on to condemn the attacks in Rafah which she stated has exacerbated the situation in Palestine before highlighting some of the interventions made by Bahrain in this regard such as the Conference on peace on the sidelines of the Arab Summit held in May 2024. She concluded by reiterating Bahrain’s commitment to supporting African countries and its peoples.

Following the opening remarks, the meeting proceeded with discussions on various issues, including coordination on Palestine, updates on the Joint Africa-Arab Action Plan, preparations for the 5th Africa-Arab Summit in Saudi Arabia, implementation of resolutions from the 4th Summit, and ongoing Africa-Arab programs. Key recommendations adopted during the meeting included:

  1. Strategic Importance of the 5th Summit: The meeting underscored the strategic importance given by all the parties for the hosting of the 5th Africa-Arab Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the need to determine the date of the Summit in order to ensure that the organization committee resume its efforts towards adequate preparation for the upcoming Summit.
  2. Joint Coordination Mechanism on Palestine: Following the development of the draft Concept Note developed by the second Coordination Committee Meeting between LAS, AU, and OIC pertaining to Palestine held in Addis Ababa on 12 June 2024, the Joint Coordination Mechanism on Palestine will be launched during the 5th Africa-Arab Summit in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following internal review processes of the three organizations.
  3. Africa-Arab Trade Forum: The meeting welcomed the convening of the 8th Edition of the Africa-Arab Trade in Togo in 2025 but called on the AUC and the host country to identify suitable date/s that will be convenient for all parties to participate adequately.

For more information, contact:

Mr. Ibrahim Turay | Policy Officer| Department of Partnerships & Resource Mobilization, African Union Commission Tel: +251 115 517 700 | E-mail: turayi@africa-union.org