He takes over from the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.
During the handing over ceremony, the outgoing Chairperson of the Union, President Mugabe thanked his pairs and his country for the support they gave him during his mandate.
He commended the AU Commission under the leadership of Dr Dlamini-Zuma for pursuing the transformation reforms under Agenda 2063 and for the support they gave the team.
President Mugabe said he had the privilege as Chair of the Union to travel all over the continent and beyond adding that he had the opportunity to visit many African countries and he cherished the moments when he met with the young people who are the future of tomorrow.
“It was an honour to guide our Organisation to implement its vision of the Africa We Want”, concluded President Mugabe before handing over the symbols of the Union to his successor, the President Idriss Deby of Chad.
“You can continue to count on my support, I shall be here to offer any help until God says come,” noted the outgoing Chairperson.
The newly elected Chair of the Union, hailed the outgoing Chairperson for his pan-African spirit and commitment to put Africa’s Agenda at the center of priorities during his term as Chair of the Union.
President Idriss said he will have among other important duties to ensure the implementation by AU Member States of the theme 2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women and the Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.
He will further mobilize the continent to implement the AU Agenda 2063 with the view to place Africa as a key player in the world arena.
The newly elected bureau of the African Union is as follows:
Chairperson: Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad.
First Vice-Chairperson: Yayi Bony Thomas, President of the Republic of Benin
Second Vice-Chairperson: Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
Fourth Vice- Chairperson: Hamida Homa, Vice-president of Parliament of Libya
Fourth Vice-Chairperson: Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.