December 8, 2022.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has left the country to attend the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, Pacific States (OACPS) in Luanda, Angola, which Kenya has headed for two years.
Deputy President Gachagua is expected to hand over the OACPS presidency at the 10th Summit, on behalf of President William Ruto during the four-day conference.
The Deputy President is slated to give the keynote address highlighting key milestones achieved during Kenya’s two-year tenure at the helm of the organisation.
Kenya was elected President of the Summit in December 2019 when it hosted the 9th Summit of the 79-Member States, leading to the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration on Nguvu ya Pamoja-which outlined various actions for implementation towards the achievement of the OACPS goals.
The Deputy President will deliver the address at the opening session, Friday, to be led by Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, whose country will take over the Summit’s leadership.
Mr. Gachagua is accompanied by a group of MPs who included Martha Wangari (Gilgil), Eric Muchangi Karemba (Runyenjes) and Patrick Munene (Chuka Igamba Ngombe).
The theme of the OACPS, which brings together 48 Members from Sub-Saharan Africa-16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific, will be on 3 Continents, 3 Oceans, 1 Common destiny: Building a resilient and sustainable OACPS.
After the opening session, a high-level exchange between the OACPS Heads of State and Government and invited Strategic Partners will be held under Building Resilience to Climate Change: energy transition; combating desertification, Economic diversification and value chain development: technology transfer; investment and industrialization; digital transition and Peace and security challenges.
In this regard, the Deputy President will lead discussions on Building Resilience to Climate Change: Energy Transition; Combating Desertification. He is expected to highlight the impact of global warming on climate and make a call on developed countries to support their counterparts in the developing world in mitigating further negative effects of adverse weather changes.
Mr. Gachagua is also expected to have bilateral engagements with the European Union (EU) President on the Economic Partnership Agreement on strategic partnership. On the other hand, the Spouse of the Deputy President Pastor Dorcas Rigathi will be engaged in the inaugural First Ladies Forum under the theme: “Women’s Rights and Gender Equality as a necessary factor for the development of societies”.
The meeting is expected to highlight the critical role of gender equity in socio-economic development, in addition to highlighting and identifying ways of countering barriers to inclusivity. Key among them is sexual abuse in peacekeeping missions, human and sex trafficking, and reproductive health, among others. The Forum will be led by the First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço of the Republic of Angola.
The Summit will culminate in the adoption of a Declaration on 3 Continents, 3 Oceans, 1 Common destiny: Building a resilient and sustainable OACPS on December 10, 2022.
Any other decision from the deliberations of the Summit will be adopted the same day alongside the announcement of the venue and date of the 11th Summit of the OACPS. President Lourenço will officially close the Summit on December 10, 2022.
The OACPS is established by the Georgetown Agreement, which was put in place to oversee the implementation of trade agreements and cooperation in a raft of areas between the European Economic Community and developing countries in the African Caribbean Pacific States, under the Lomé Convention.