Tuesday, February 16, 2021
- On the 6th of February 2021, Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was officially named the chair of the African Union for the year 2021 at the proceedings of the 34th AU Summit.
- Tshisekedi is the fifth president of the DRC after he had won the 2018 presidential election, the moment when the DRC saw, for the first time, a peaceful transfer of power from his predecessor Joseph Kabila.
- Tshisekedi is the son of Étienne Tshisekedi, the famed Congolese opposition figure who passed away in Brussels, Belgium in 2017.
- In 1985, he departed his country and settled in Belgium, where he earned a diploma in marketing and communications before he turned a politician.
- Then he joined the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social; (UDPS), the party founded by his father Étienne Tshisekedi.
- After the death of his father, Félix Tshisekedi succeeded him as a president of the UDPS and later on was named by the party as a candidate for the presidential election in 2018.
- During the closed session of the heads of states and governments of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Félix Tshisekedi was elected the next chair of the African Union, representing West Africa Region, for this year and he was handed the position from his predecessor, President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.
- The chairmanship of the African Union is rotated among the five regions of the Continent: North, East, West, South and Central.
- During his term as a chair of the African Union, President Félix Tshisekedi is expected to focus on regional integration in Africa after enforcing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); the AU 2063 Agenda; foreign partnerships of the AU; health, particularly in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic; plus realizing the slogan of the 34th AU Summit (Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want).