Nairobi, 9/12/2019/ACP: The 9th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government was officially opened by Kenyan President H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta today at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya. President Kenyatta, as the Head of State of the host country, assumed the presidency of the ACP Group, accepting the gavel from outgoing president, the Hon. Davis Madava Steven, Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

Secretary General (SG) of the ACP Group, H.E. Dr. Patrick I Gomes, in his welcome statement, spoke on the theme of the Summit, “A Transformed ACP Committed to Multilateralism”, concluding, “The ACP – transformed and reinvented – looks to the continuation of your renewed guidance and wise counsel, as we enable a multilateralism rooted in everyday life and embedded to principles of justice and democratic governance.”

Read Dr. Gomes’ Welcome Statement HERE

Seventeen heads of stateand 70 of the 79 ACP Member States were in attendance at the Opening. Delegates from across the six ACP Regions and around the world attended the historical ceremony which was dominated by themes of unity and climate change.

First to the podium following the handover was H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, who represented the African region of the ACP Group. Citing several of the challenges such as poverty and marginalisation facing the ACP Group, the Ghanian President urged a unified approach and a strengthening of the cooperation to successfully address the challenges.

Read speech byH.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo HERE

H.E. Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, representing the Caribbean region, issued her own challenge to the Group, asking them if they wanted to remain a relic of the past or a fast track to the future, cautioning, “We ACP must function on our own terms, not on the terms set by others.”

Read speech by H.E. Ms. Mia Amor Mottley HERE

The Pacific region was represented by the outgoing President, H.E. Davis Madava Steven, who shared thoughts on regionalism and multilateralism in the Pacific.

H.E. Mrs. Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) again touched on the challenges imposed by climate change and thanked outgoing SG Gomes for his stewardship of the Group.

Representing the European Union (EU), the ACP Group’s long term partner, newly-elected EU Commissioner responsible for International Partnerships, H.E. Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, commenting that it was only in the dictionary that “I” came before “We”, spoke warmly of the value of partnerships and the strength of the unique partnership between the EU and the ACP Group.

Read H.E. Urpilainen’s speech HERE

In his inaugural statement, President Kenyatta expressed his gratitude to the outgoing chair for his sterling leadership to ensure that the Group remains vibrant and relevant. During his chairmanship, he pledged that the vision and goals of the group would be placed at the centre of all international engagements to ensure that the ACP Group would become “a beacon of hope and multilateralism”.

Read H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s presentation HERE

The Summit was preceded by Ministerial Sessions from 6 – 8 December 2019 at the KICC.

About ACP Summits

The first ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government was held in Libreville, Gabon, on 6 and 7 November 1997, during which the ACP Leaders undertook to meet on a regular basis. Consequently, ACP Heads of State and Government have met every three years on average, in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) on 25 and 26 November 1999; in Nadi (Fiji) on 18 and 19 July 2002; in Maputo (Mozambique) on 23 and 24 June 2004; in Khartoum (Sudan) on 7 and 8 December 2006; and in Accra (Ghana) on 2 and 3 October 2008; Equatorial Guinea (Malabo) 13 and 14 December 2012; Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby) 31 May to 1 June 2016.

For more information on the 9th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government, visit the

For photos of the Summit, the Ministerial meetings and the side events, visit the ACP’s Flickr page HERE.