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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The new UNFPA Liaison Office Chief and Representative to the African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA) for Africa, Mr. Désiré Yetsowou Assogbavi presented his Letter of Credence to the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat. The brief ceremony was conducted at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9th March 2018.

Following the presentation, the AU Chairperson conducted bilateral talks with Mr. Désiré Assogbavi. The AU Chairperson noted that population issues are important to Africa and that the AUC will continue to explore opportunities to strengthen actions in this area. Noting UNFPA’s experience on population matters, the AUC Chairperson observed that the commission can benefit and learn from the agency and welcomed the Liaison Office Chief for further dialogue and partnership.

Speaking on the issue of Demographic Dividend, in line with the 2017 AU Theme of the Year, the Chairperson underscored the need to strengthen accountability on the commitments laid out in the “AU Roadmap on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”. Furthermore, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed interest for close collaboration with UNFPA to work on ending violence against women.

On his part, Mr. Désiré Assogbavi expressed assurances of UNFPA’s commitment to continued cooperation with the African Union Commission – an important and strategic partner, noting that UNFPA will continue to support efforts to end preventable maternal deaths, end unmet need for family planning and end gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.