I’m honoured indeed to be here this afternoon to witness the opening ceremony of the continental celebration of the Synod on Synodality organised by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

I would like sincerely to thank SECAM For the invitation and for the opportunity to share some thoughts on this important topic.

Synodality is an essential principle. Of the Catholic Church and its relevance extends beyond religious institutions. Synodality emphasises the importance of inclusivity and dialogue in decision making processes. It also has a potential to contribute to addressing the various challenges of the African continent. We are all aware of these challenges that our continent is facing today, challenges threatening peace and security on our continent, poverty, inequality, climate change, to mention just a few.

These challenges require collective efforts to find sustainable solutions that benefit all members. Of the society. Synodality therefore provides a framework for engaging in dialogue and cooperation, ensuring that all voices are heard while promoting inclusivity and participation at the African Union and the African Union Commission in particular we are committed to promote peace, security and sustainable development on our continent. Synodality can complement these efforts. By fostering greater unity and cooperation among different groups and communities. We believe that creativity, participation in dialogue, are some of the critical values that can help us overcome the challenges we in Africa face today. And by embracing these values, we can work together to build a better future for our continent.

There could not be a better time for your convening here in this beautiful city of Addis Ababa because, as you may know, a couple of weeks ago, this beautiful city also hosted a summit of the leaders of our continent. Of all of the things they discussed, there is a reaffirmation of the vision for the continent. We have a vision, the agenda 2063 which is speaking among its key seven principles that have to be people centred. Also, they reaffirmed that 2023 is going to be a year where we are going to be all rallying around the theme of accelerating integration, free common trade area on the continent.

We understand very well that there’s no way we can be trading if there isn’t peace in our homes and in our families, if our borders are not open to brothers and sisters from neighbours, if we are not able to harness the youth, the women and everyone’s energy to produce so that we can develop the content.

This Synodality is an opportune moment for your constituents, which is a key one in the ecosystem of the continent to make sure that you devise means and ways to move the house, the brains and the minds, and also the arms of the people on the continent, to work together to own our destiny and to welcome one another as we promote trade on the continent.

I’m confident that initiatives like the continental celebration of the Synod on synodality can contribute to fostering greater understanding, cooperation and unity on our continent. I’d like to reiterate the commitment of the African Union Commission, especially through the citizens and Diaspora Directorate, which reports to the deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission.

We commit to supporting initiatives such as these and other values that contribute to the well-being and development of our continent. The African Union will continue to work for the benefit of all to provide a peaceful, safe and secure continent where we can all live in peace and harmony.

In conclusion, I’d like once more to thank SECAM and the organizers for the continental celebration of the Synod on Synodality for their efforts and commitment to promoting solidarity in Africa. I hope that this event will be a success and will have a positive impact on our continent as we operationalize this participation in the mission. May peace prevail on Earth.

I thank you all for listening and God bless Africa.

Intervention by Deputy Chairperson of African Union Commission

HE Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa

De Leopol Hotel, Addis Ababa