Member states of the African Union in session at the union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tiksa Negeri/Reuters
ADDIS ABABA - 26 May 2019: Egyptian Ambassador in Addis Ababa Osama Abdel Khaleq has said that the AU is witnessing a quantum leap in terms of continental integration under the presidency of Egypt.
Speaking in a ceremony organized by the AU to mark Africa Day, Abdel Khaleq said an African free trade agreement will go into effect on May 30 before it is officially launched at an extra-ordinary summit in Niger on July 7.
A coordination summit between the AU and regional economic blocs is also scheduled for Niger on July 8 with the aim to achieve further continental integration, the diplomat added.
He also spoke of efforts to connect infrastructure networks and implement financial and administrative reforms that were endorsed by African leaders in November.
Abdel Khaleq also called on international partners to continue to support African efforts meant to achieve common interests.
A televised speech by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who currently chairs the AU, was also played during the ceremony.