President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has left Harare for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend the 36th Ordinary Session of the AU Summit.


The Summit, themed “The year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation,” will explore ways to deepen regional integration and trade.


The Summit comes amid insecurity in the region.


Meanwhile, Ethiopian authorities increased security measures in Addis Ababa ahead of the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (Feb. 15-16) and 36th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly (Feb. 18-19).


The conferences will take place at the AU Conference Center and Office Complex (AUCC) on Roosevelt Street. Numerous dignitaries, including heads of state, ministers, and other senior officials, from nations across Africa will attend.


Hundreds of other delegates, as well as business leaders and journalists, will also likely travel to the city for the Summit.


Authorities will almost certainly increase security throughout Addis Ababa leading up to and during the event. Police and military personnel are likely to establish particularly tight security near the AUCC, as well as hotels and foreign embassy residences where participating delegations will be staying.


Authorities may close roads with little-to-no warning in order to facilitate the movement of dignitaries’ motorcades. Residents and businesses located near summit-related venues could be subject to heightened scrutiny and some movement restrictions.


Officials will likely bolster security at major transport hubs in the city. Additional security procedures at Bole International Airport (ADD) could prompt flight delays, as well as long waits to clear security and customs, particularly on dates that visiting dignitaries are arriving at or departing the summit.


Increased security measures may include stricter baggage checks, random physical searches, and enhanced document screening.