I will represent Australia at the 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 27 January. This will be my first visit to Africa as Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

I will address the African Union on Australia’s humanitarian and development assistance for Africa, including our commitment of a further $14 million for Somalia and South Sudan. In Ethiopia, I will see first-hand how our humanitarian investments are saving lives in drought-affected areas.

Australia’s strong human rights record is the cornerstone of our campaign for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 term. I look forward to discussing Australia’s candidacy for the Human Rights Council with senior African leaders.

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sydney-fijiI will announce a $1 million partnership with the African Union Commission to create a Gender Equality Observatory to support member states’ national programs for the advancement of women.

While in Ethiopia, I will open the new Australian Embassy building in Addis Ababa.

I will also visit South Africa for high-level meetings to explore opportunities to enhance our economic relationship, and our common commitment to gender equality and human rights.

There will also be community visits to see how our Direct Aid Program is supporting local efforts towards poverty alleviation. I will also have the opportunity to meet Australia Awards alumni and Australian volunteers undertaking assignments focused on governance, social infrastructure and early childhood education.