By Mohamed al-Bakai
NOUAKCHOTT (AA) - Mauritania has begun preparations to host this year’s African Union (AU) Summit in June, according to Foreign Minister Eslak Ould Ahmed Azid Bey.
Speaking before the AU’s Addis Ababa-based Executive Council, Azid Bey thanked the pan-African body for choosing Nouakchott as the summit’s venue, Mauritania’s official news agency reported Friday.
A new conference center is being built in the Mauritanian capital especially for the event, the foreign minister said, adding that “all necessary steps” were being taken to ensure the upcoming summit’s success.
"Our country hopes to fully contribute to Africa’s development at all levels -- especially in 2018, which marks the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birth,” Azid Bey was quoted as saying.
South Africa’s first black president, Mandela (1918-2013) is considered one of the most important African political figures of the 20th century.