26th January - 3rd February. The summit's theme is "Infrastructure Development in Africa" with a focus on transport, energy and investment issues against a negative international financial background.
AU Commission Chief Jean Ping said the current global economic downturn would also come under the spotlight. "African economies and African people will suffer the full wrath of the crisis for which they are not responsible." Mr Ping argued that the financial crisis would divert the international community's attention from funding development to rescuing banking and financial institutions. However, he noted that conflicts have deepened Africa's vulnerability to the global economic slump. The AU Summit holds according to the following schedule :
- The 17th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC): 26-27 January 2009;
- The 14th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (EC): 29- 30 January 2009; and
- The 12th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government: 1-3rd February 2009.
- The theme of the 12th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government is: “Infrastructure Development in Africa”.