Agadir – The 41st Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) began on January 20, 2021, as a prelude to the 34th African Union (AU) Summit.
Ambassador Mohamed Arrouchi, Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the AU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), used this opportunity to stress the importance of access to education for vulnerable communities across Africa.
The meeting is being held in preparation for the 34th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) which will take place on 6 and 7 February 2021. The theme of the AU Summit will be “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.
Discussing challenges that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, Arrouchi pointed to the need to create a platform of African experts and scientists to ensure access to education for all African populations. This can be done through strengthening the access of African countries to online means and tools, he argued.
Besides education, the Moroccan diplomat also touched upon the continent’s lingering economic and financial challenges. Arrouchi called for changing global tax rules that would aid African states to build more capacity and expertise in the field of digital economy
He also pointed to the need to combat illicit financial flows across the continent. The establishment of an effective African payment system within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area would be beneficial, he noted.
Also discussed at the meeting was the continental peace and security, with Arrouchi calling for closer collaboration between the new leadership of the AU’s Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security and the member states of the African Union.
On gender issues, the diplomat pointed to Morocco’s experience in empowering women, whether through legislature, education, or vocational training.
The 41st Ordinary Session of the PRC will consider draft agenda and draft decisions for the upcoming 38th ordinary session of the AU’s Executive Council and the agenda for the 34th ordinary session of the AU Assembly.