South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the chairperson of the African Union (A.U.), will on Tuesday outline the continent’s agenda in a virtual address of the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
For the first time in the history of the U.N, the 2020 General Assembly is being held almost entirely online due to disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though world leaders have been afforded the right to turn up in person to deliver their keynote addresses, many of them – including President Ramaphosa – have reportedly opted to do so online.
The South African president’s first participation at UNGA was on Friday when he attended the High-Level Meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
On Tuesday, he is scheduled to deliver a speech on behalf of the A.U., where he is expected to “assert the continent’s position on global and continental peace, security and development’s challenge and outline the African Union’s programme of action in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving the goal of Silencing the Guns,” according to the South African presidency.
The A.U.’s theme for 2020 – Silencing the Guns – is aimed at providing a conducive environment to enable the development of the continent.
President Ramaphosa is expected to outline the progress and challenges this agenda has faced in the year so far.
His other focus – Africa’s response to COVID-19 – is expected to touch on the continent’s progress in the fight against the virus, the challenges and expectations as the world continues the war against the pandemic.
By Friday, Africa had reported 1,379,909 COVID-19 infections and 33,403 deaths, according to data from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.