Brussels, 01 February 2021/OACPS: As of 1 February 2021, H.E. Dr. Paolelei Luteru, Ambassador of the Independent State of Samoa, will chair theCommittee of Ambassadors (CoA) of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) until the end of Samoa’s six-month term in July 2021. Ambassador Luteru took over from the outgoing chair, Ambassador Jestas Nyamanga of the United Republic of Tanzania during the hybrid Meeting of the Incoming and Outgoing Bureaux of the Committee of Ambassadors of the OACPS on 28 January 2021.

H. E. Mr Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa will concurrently assume the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the OACPS.

Tanzania, at the start of its presidency, identified as its key priority areas: efforts to ease the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis in the Member States of the OACPS; the conclusion of the negotiations for the new Partnership Agreement between the OACPS and the EU; the leveraging of “South – South” engagement to advance the OACPS’ agenda for change and renewal; connectivity; the OACPS’ financial stability, as well as its unity and solidarity. Ambassador Nyamanga, enumerating the achievements of the Bureau during his six-month tenure at the helm, was pleased with the accomplishments of the Bureau, despite the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representing the East African region, Tanzania was the first country to assume the chairmanship of the Committee of Ambassadors since the coming-into-force of the revised Georgetown Agreement and the subsequent change of name of the ACP.

Current Bureau

For the period of February to August 2021, the incoming Bureau, under the leadership of the Ambassador of Samoa comprises: the Caribbean – Ambassador Colin Connelly of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Central Africa – Ambassador Dr. Daniel Emery Dede of the Central African Republic; East Africa – Ambassador Mrs. Hirut Zemene of the Republic of Ethiopia; Southern Africa – Ambassador Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu of the Kingdom of Eswatini; West Africa – Ambassador Mamadou Mandjou Berthe of the Republic of Mali; and the Pacific – Ambassador Moses Kouni Mose of Solomon Islands.

The Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors, which coordinates the work of the full committee, comprises one representative from each of the six regions of the OACPS, as well as a Troika comprised of the current, outgoing, and incoming Chairs.The current Troika includes the Ambassadors of Samoa, The United Republic of Tanzania, and Angola from the Southern African region, which will be next to hold the presidency.

The Committee of Ambassadors is an important decision-making body of the OACPS, comprising one representative from each of its 79 member countries. It meets at least one a month in Brussels to monitor the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, and carry out any mandate tasked to it by the Council of Ministers of the OACPS. Much of its work is carried out through six technical sub-committees (on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs; Trade and Commodities; Investment and the Private Sector; Sustainable Development; Financing and Development; and Establishment and Finance), as well through ad-hoc working groups and task forces.