The following is a brief introduction to previous summits of the AU.
The first summit was held from July 9 to July 10, 2002 in South Africa's Durban just after the African Union was established to replace the Organization of African Unity.
From July 10 to July 12, 2003, the second summit took place in the Mozambican capital Maputo. Its focus was the establishment of a new partnership among African countries, conflict reduction and AIDS prevention.
The third summit was held in Addis Ababa from July 6 to July 8, 2004, with leaders of African countries vowing to reduce poverty by seeking integration and security.
The fourth summit, which took place in the Nigerian city Abuja from Jan. 30 to Jan. 31, 2005, focused on the Darfur crisis in Sudan, the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia's reconstruction and UN reforms.
Libya's Sirte hosted the fifth summit from July 4 to July 5, 2005, which highlighted poverty reduction, the continent's integration, and the seeking of a common position on UN reforms.
The sixth summit took place from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24, 2006, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. At the summit, leaders of member states discussed cooperation in economy, culture and education, as well as AU's cooperation with the UN.
The seventh summit, which was held in the Gambian capital Banjul from July 1 to July 2, 2006, decided to suspend recognition of new regional economic communities on the continent, and to speed up construction in transportation, energy and other infrastructure.
The eighth summit was held in Addis Ababa from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2007, focusing on science and technology promotion and climate change.
The ninth summit took place in the Ghanaian capital Accra from July 1 to July 3, 2007, with the theme of "Grand Debate on the Union Government."
The 10th summit was held in Addis Ababa from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2008 under the theme of "Industrial Development of Africa". Gabonese Jean Ping was elected as the new chairperson of AU Commission during the summit.
The 11th summit was held in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh from June 30 to July 1, 2008, with African leaders discussing the impact of soaring food prices, the situation in Zimbabwe, and how to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.
Addis Ababa hosted the 12th summit from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4, 2009 with the theme of "Infrastructure Development in Africa".
The 13th summit was held in Libya's coastal city of Sirte from July 1 to July 3, 2009 with the theme of "Investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security."
The 14th summit was held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2010 at its headquarter in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The theme of three-day summit was "Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development."
The 15th summit was held at Kampala, Uganda's capital from July 25. to July 27, 2010 with the theme of "Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa". The three-day summit also saw African leaders discuss issues including peace and security, infrastructure, energy, agriculture and food security on the continent.
The 16th summit was held in Addis Ababa from Jan. 30 to Jan. 31, 2011, with the theme "Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values." The African leaders also considered issues including peace and security in Africa, unconstitutional changes of governments, regional integration, climate change, Africa's position on UN reforms, among others, during the two-day summit. AU's Peace and Security Council also set up a panel to deal with the Cote d'Ivoire crisis.
The 17th summit was held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from June 30 to July 1, 2011, with the theme of "Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development." The summit also discussed the peace and security situation on the continent especially regarding Libya, Sudan, and Somalia.