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16th AU Summit opens

Addis Ababa, January 30 (WIC) – The 16th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government kicked off here on Sunday, January 30, 2011.

President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, took over the rotating presidency of AU from Malawian President Bing wa Mutharika during the morning session of the Summit.

Addressing the AU Summit, UN Secretary General, Ban ki moon, said African leaders need to go all-out for the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Citing the current political crisis in Côte d”Ivoire and unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, Ban added that Africans should avoid conflicts that crop up due to various reasons.

However, the Secretary General hailed the successful referendum in South Sudan and the economic growth registered in the continent over the past years despite the global financial crises.

French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, on his part said that France will continue to back the continent to see a prosperous and developed Africa.

President Sarkozy also commended the economic growth registered in the content during the past three years.

AU Commission Chairperson, Jean Ping and Malawian President, Bingu Mutharika, were among the keynote speakers at the opening ceremony.

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