As customary, Kenya participated in the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union that convened between 29 and 30 January 2012. H.E President Mwai Kibaki led a high powered delegation to the just concluded summit that included 4 Ministers, several Permanent Secretaries and other government officials. The Head of State and Government summit was preceded by the 20th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, which convened between 26th and 27th January 2012, and the 23rd Permanent Representative Committee meeting from 23rd to 25th January, 2012.
In all twenty five (25) decisions, one resolution and two declarations were adopted by the Assembly. (For full details of the resolutions and decisions refer to the section on the African Union Summit)
This was a significant summit for Kenya and the continent. The summit convened in the USD 200 million ultra modern complex centre that was donated and built by China and presented to Africa to signify the growing Afro-China relations. The inauguration of the new AU Complex was marked by unveiling of a statue of Kwame Nkrumah and planting of trees by Heads of States and Government. Of significance to Kenya was a tree planted in honour of the Late Prof. Wangari Maathai.
The summit also adopted a resolution to immortalize Wangari Maathai that among other things, created a Wangari Maathai Award for outstanding African Achievements in Environment and Biodiversity .Once again, Kenya received an Excellence Award from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance for the most progress made in malaria control.
President Mwai Kibaki hosted a successful luncheon on the 29th January 2012, to commemorate the 40th year of UNEP in Nairobi. In attendance were more than 40 Heads of States and Government, Ban-Ki moon, the United Nations Secretary General, several heads of UN agencies as well as Kenyans in Addis Ababa.
There was one drawback at the summit: the suspension of the African Union commission election after the failure of either of the two candidates vying for the chair failed to obtain the required two thirds majority vote. This led to a decision for the creation of an Ad-hoc Committee of Heads of State and Government to address the issues relating to the next elections. Kenya is following this development closely in view of the fact that its national H.E Erastus Mwencha is seeking re-election to the position of Deputy Chair of the African Union commission. (for the credentials of Mr. Mwencha see the webpage)
In spite of this hitch, the summit was characterized by robust discussion on the theme of the summit, which was boosting Intra-Africa Trade, which President Kibaki addressed eloquently and firmly, in his capacity as the current Chair of the East African Community.
Other issues addressed during the summit include Africa’s Preparation for Rio+20, Peace and Security, UN Reform, among others. (For detailed information on the summit see Summitry and relavant thematic area)