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Cairo – Asharq Al-Awsat
Egypt will hand over the African Union presidency to South Africa in two months during the 33rd ordinary AU summit, scheduled for Addis Ababa on February 9-10.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi addresses an African Union summit in Ethiopia. (Reuters)

Egypt had taken over the presidency from Rwanda in 2019, for a one-year term. Cairo also co-chaired this year the Russia–Africa Summit and had participated in leading international forums to represent the continent.

The AU presidency post rotates annually between the five regions of the continent.

The 2020 AU summit will take place from January 21 to February 10, 2020, under the theme “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.

The Summit’s 39th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) is set to be held on January 21-22, while the 36th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (Ministerial) on February 6-7.

The AU should later hold its 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union on February 9 and 10.

Separately, the MENA news agency said that Egypt and Sudan would start operating an electricity interconnection project linking the two countries’ national grids on January 12.

The news agency quoted Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker as saying that the project would operate with a total capacity of 50 megawatts, noting that its total cost amounted to $31.74 million.

“The joint grid will be spanning across a distance of 1,000 kilometers,” the Minister said, adding that it was expected to reach a total capacity of 240 megawatts by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, at a conference held in Cairo on prospects for energy investment, director of the energy sector at the African Union commission, Sheikh Bida, stressed the need to boost the establishment of power grids between nations to push economic development.

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