Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, attends the opening of the 33rd session of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) which kicked off under the theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth" at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 22, 2017. Ambassadors of the 54 member states of the PRC of the AU met on Sunday at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ambassadors of the 54 member states of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union (AU) met on Sunday at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The 33rd session of the PRC is in the framework of the 28th AU summit, scheduled between Jan. 30 and 31 under the theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth."
The three-day meeting will prepare the agenda of the AU summit with recommendations for consideration by the AU Executive Council, which comprises foreign ministers of AU member states.
In her opening remarks, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, noted that the 28th AU summit would again deal with matters concerning Africans and the future of the continent.
She said Africa, under the framework of Agenda 2063, has recorded progress in modernizing agriculture and agro-processing, tackling backlogs in energy, transport, water and sanitation and in making sure that Africa is not bypassed in the information highways and knowledge economy via investing in ICT.
Dlamini-Zuma also noted that the pan-African bloc has a major task of adopting the African continental free trade area (CFTA) this year.
The chairperson said a lot still needs to be done despite achievements on the continent.
"We must espouse and uphold the values of pan-Africanism, which include putting Africa first, the commitment to the African people, their dignity and aspirations, and our passion for democracy, peace, integration and development," she said.
In addition to electing new officials of the AU Commission, the summit will consider important issues related to the financing and institutional reforms of the AU, according to Cherif Mahamat Zene, Chad Ambassador to AU and chair of the 33rd session of the PRC.