TRADITIONAL leaders have been invited to attend the African Union (AU) summit currently taking place at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.
Addressing the press yesterday, the AU head of communications, international cooperation and resource mobilisation, Jacques Mukwende, said though they will not take part in the deliberations, they will address a joint press conference.
â€œThe host government welcomes traditional leaders and invites them in all likelihood,â€ she said.
The foreign affairs ministry and AU 2010 summit spokesperson, ambassador Patrick Muganda Guma, who jointly addressed the press conference, said traditional and Caribbean leaders were invited out of courtesy.
â€œAll the programmes are in line with the eight Millennium Development Goals. So, their invitation is a courtesy on our side, we need not put them on the programme,â€ he said.
Experts say traditional leaders can play a leading role reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in Africa, which is the focus of the summit.
There was drama at the last AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gadaffi paraded kings and traditional leaders, saying those who earlier opposed their presence, like President Yoweri Museveni, had now been convinced of their role.
The Libyan Leader also used his farewell speech as AU chair to accuse the AU of wasting time and failing to meet global challenges and Millennium Development Goals.
Guma added that the Mexican president, Phillipe Calderon, will be among the guests. He said Calderon will feature as the special guest because he will be hosting the next summit on climate change later this year.
Cultural leaders for African Union meet