Malawi is from today hosting a two-day African Union Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government in Lilongwe with at least six member States delegating Cabinet ministers.
The committee, dubbed AU-C10, champions education, science and technology in Africa and by last evening, it emerged that most of the Heads of State and Government had opted to delegate ministers as their representatives.
Earlier in the day, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka told journalists that besides host President Peter Mutharika, there would be three other presidents of Gambia, Namibia and Sierra Leone and the Prime Minister of Senegal in attendance at the summit.
But Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Shumba later said only the President of Namibia and the Prime Minister of Senegal had confirmed their participation at the high-level meeting.
Shumba added that delegated ministers were expected from Mauritius, Egypt and Gabon, while Kenya was set to provide a deputy minister.
If this is the turn out, it would be ironic because this is one of the key committees tackling major issues that are expected to inspire greater development in Africa.
During the news conference, Msaka said Africa is likely to be propelled forward through greater advancements in science, technology innovation and research.
He said: “Science, technology, innovation and research are areas that will propel Africa forwards. Therefore, these issues ought to be put at the forefront of this continent’s agenda.”
Announcing details of the summit earlier, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology was upbeat, saying the summit will meet under the theme of Enhancing Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa’s Development.
The ministry said the committee’s chairperson is Macky Sall, President of Senegal, with Mutharika as the second vice-chairperson.
The composition of the committee includes two presidents from each of AU’s five continental regions and, therefore, draws its membership from Senegal, Chad, Egypt,Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Tunisia. n