Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio was visibly absent as African leaders met over the weekend for the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (5th MYCM) of the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities, the Regional Mechanisms, and the African Union Member States.
The meeting, which was held on Sunday, 16th of July 2023, saw various African Leaders converge in Nairobi on the theme “Acceleration of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation.”
Approximately fifteen hundred (1500) delegates participated in the meeting which kicked off on July 13. Notably present were Azali Assoumani, President of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union; William Ruto, President of Kenya; Moussa Faki, Former Prime Minister of Chad and Chairperson of the African Union Commission; Amina Jane Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group; Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of Nigeria and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, amongst others.
Although the African Union is made up of fifty-five (55) member states which represent all the countries on the African continent, Sierraloaded learnt that only fourteen (14) Heads of State and Government participated at the meeting on Sunday.
Participants at The Meeting
The meeting was hosted for the African Union leaders only including the AU chairperson and the Bureau of the Assembly, AU Champion of the AfCFTA, chairpersons of all RECs, AUC chairperson and chief executives of RECs/RMs, deputy chairperson and commissioners of the AUC and the chief executive officer of AUDA-NEPAD.
The RECs include the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA, Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD)and East African Community (EAC).
Others are the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (5th MYCM) of the African Union is a meeting between the Heads of State and Government who form the Bureau of the AU Assembly (Comoros, Botswana, Burundi, and Senegal), the 8 Heads of State and Government who chair the 8 Regional Economic Communities (RECs) who are (Burundi- EAC, Djibouti- IGAD, Zambia- COMESA, DRC- SADC, Nigeria – ECOWAS, Chad- CEN SAD, Libya – UMA, and Gabon- ECCAS); the African Union Commission and Regional Mechanisms (RMs).
Why Sierra Leone Was Not Invited
Sierra Leone was not invited because the country does not currently hold any leadership position in the Bureau of African Union Assembly and the 8 Regional Economic Communities (RECs). However, President Julius Maada Bio is Chairperson of African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)