On 12 January, Latvia is to become an official observer state to the African Union. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Egypt Māris Selga will submit the letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia to the Chairman of the Commission of the African Union Jean Ping at the African Union Headquarters based in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba.
Obtaining the status of an observer attests to Latvia’s wish to expand cooperation with countries on the continent of Africa. This status will provide an opportunity for broadening the vision of Africa, offer greater support to Latvian entrepreneurs who would like to work in the countries of the African Union, as well as sharing experience on the development of cooperation, in particular, as concerns the significance of regional integration. In this area Latvia could offer its successful experience of cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.
The African Union has 53 member states. Established in 2001, the African Union was formed as a successor to the African Economic Community and the Organisation of African Unity. The objectives of the union are to ensure the observance of human rights on the African continent, to facilitate the establishment of democratic governance and promote sustainable economies. The African Union devotes major attention to dealing with and preventing internal conflicts, as well as setting up a common market and the development of African economies.